Exploring Receptive Ecumenism – a study day

Hosted by the Society for Ecumenical Studies in conjunction with the Durham University Centre for Catholic Studies on 15 October in London.

Receptive Ecumenism asks not what other churches can learn from us, but ‘what can we learn and receive with integrity from our ecclesial others?’

On Saturday, 15 October, the Society for Ecumenical Studies (a Body in Association with CTE), working in partnership with The London Jesuit Centre and the Centre for Catholic Studies, Durham University held an ecumenical study day in London exploring issues arising from the new volume Receptive Ecumenism as Transformative Ecclesial Learning: Walking the Way to a Church Re-formed edited by Paul D. Murray, Gregory A. Ryan, and Paul Lakeland (OUP 2022). This was attended by some 37 people.

A welcome was given by Rev Dr Elizabeth Welch, Chair of the Society for Ecumenical Studies. After a brief introduction to the book by the editors, Professor Paul Murray (who joined the day online) and Dr Gregory Ryan, presentations were given by two sets of invited speakers who had been asked to explore an aspect of the book which resonated with them and related to their ministry. Questions and answers to the panel arising from discussions by the participants followed. There were lively and engaged conversations around the room and themes were identified that merited further discussion, possibly at another conference.

The contributors were:

  • Rt Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Ripon on the relevance of Receptive Ecumenism to practical theology and pastoral ministry
  • Dr Anna Krauss, General Secretary of the Council of Lutheran Churches in Great Britain on the place of scripture in Receptive Ecumenism, and the potential for scriptural engagement as a place of receptive ecumenical encounter
  • Fr Jan Nowotnik, National Ecumenical Officer for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on the relevance of Receptive Ecumenism to the opening of Catholic synodal pathways by Pope Francis
  • Bishop Mike Royal, General Secretary of CTE on the place of the Spirit in Receptive Ecumenism, and Receptive Ecumenism as a pneumatological reality
  • Fr Dragos Herescu, Principal of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge on the role of theological accountability in Receptive Ecumenism
  • Rev Dr Susan Durber, WCC President for Europe on the relevance of Receptive Ecumenism for formal bilateral and multilateral ecumenical dialogues

The day concluded with vespers where the preacher was Rev Professor Paul Fiddes, Principal Emeritus of Regent’s Park College, Oxford.

The papers arising from the conference will be available on the Society for Ecumenical Studies website.

Learn more about Receptive Ecumenism.