This week I am participating in a conference at Ushaw College in Durham. 'Receptive Ecumenism and Ecclesial Learning: Learning to be Church Together' aims to:
- scrutinise the practise of receptive ecumenism and explore its potential for development,
- engage with a wide range of traditions to ask 'what can and need we learn with creative integrity from others?'
- explore the relevance of receptive ecumenism at the level of local church.
So what is receptive ecumenism? Unfortunately, the academics tell us it is not at all the same as ecumenical reception, although the two are related. Never fear I will in due course try to explain the distinction once I've got my head around it. The good news, if you're into this sort of thing, is that it helps flesh out some of the issues in two of my earlier posts about ecumenical reception, where I explored two and three dimensional ecumenical reception.
Receptive ecumenism does not ask that other traditions might change to bring them into line with my own. Instead it asks whether other traditions have insights which might address the needs of my own tradition. This serves to flesh out one of the three dimensions in my earlier posts, where traditions are talking to each other. It remains to be seen how effectively this is addressed and indeed how effectively the other dimensions (local to international churches, mission) are addressed.
In my posts this week I will try to cover briefly some of the issues that emerge for me - I'll try to keep them short!