Methodism and the Future of Ecumenism

David M. Chapman

in The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199696116
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Methodism and the Future of Ecumenism

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Methodists have been at the forefront of the modern ecumenical movement since its inception, which is usually traced to the Edinburgh Conference on World Mission (1910). Its chairman was an American Methodist layman, John R. Mott, whose outstanding passion for evangelism inspired a similar commitment to the cause of Christian unity, earning him the distinction of being invited to preach at the inaugural meeting of the World Council of Churches in 1948. Besides the spirited contribution of individuals such as Mott, institutionally Methodism has been a longstanding participant in ecumenical instruments, dialogues, and unity schemes. But what of Methodism's continuing contribution in what has sometimes been described as the current winter of ecumenism? This article considers the question under five headings: ‘Catholic spirit’; ecumenical relations; theological dialogue; obstacles to unity; and future priorities.

Keywords: Methodists; ecumenical movement; Catholic spirit; ecumenical relations; theological dialogue; unity

Article.  7899 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Christianity

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