Intercultural ecumenism: Culture as ecumenical agency
This is the Introduction to a paper given by Bishop Dr Joe Aldred at the University of Roehampton.
In this paper I begin to explore how culture, including ethnicity and faith, might be appropriated as ecumenical agency. Engaging culture in the service of ecumenism requires rethinking about both the nature of both. At least two acts of deconstruction is called for; deconstructing the hegemony of western Christian culture that impacts profoundly on relationships between Christians in Britain from different cultural camps is a priority, and understanding the inadequacies of structural ecumenism based on an ideology of a ‘search for unity rather than appropriating a gift already given to the church. A new approach to ecumenism is called for with realised unity as is central thesis and cultural agency as its expressive arm. I approach this inquiry against the background of my own multiple cultural identities as a Black African-Caribbean British Christian from a non-mainstream British church tradition. My identity is an example of microcosm of culture’s complexities and its close proximity to the epicentre of human self-understanding.
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