Image by Isidr☼ Cea via Flickr
This blog will be two years old in November and so, during my summer leave, I have been thinking about how it has developed and will develop into the future.
From the beginning, I have written about ecumenical theology, starting from the basic ecumenical activity of conversation and extending it to the concept of oikoumene, the reconciliation of all things to God. In recent months I have begun to relate these speculations to ecumenical history and key documents. I will extend this over the coming months.
- The most exciting opportunity has come from a friend who was a religious radio broadcaster during the 1980s Not Strangers but Pilgrims interchurch process. She has been clearing her attic and so I have a pile of material to read and digest. I have found little of this material on the internet and I don't at this stage know how much I will be able to get online but I hope over the coming months to develop a resource about this fascinating era of British ecumenism.
- I have tended to ignore some of the major ecumenical statements, eg Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry or the statement on justification. I hope to explore those available online and offer a guide to reading and interpreting them. Ecumenical reception is crucial and the most neglected ecumenical activity. The Faith and Order debate claims significant achievements but these achievements mean little if they are not known about, debated and understood.
- I will start a series of book reviews. I have referred to a number of books in support of my arguments but rarely discussed the books themselves. So, I will return to some of the books I've referred to previously and also introduce some new ones.
- A few years ago, Churches Together in England published a short pamphlet that listed key ecumenical texts from the Bible. Under the category of exegesis I will be writing about each of these texts and asking what they might mean for churches today.
- Finally, a topic about which I know very little but hope to learn more. This might be headed ecumenism and culture. Does culture make a difference to ecumenism? We tend to think of ecumenism as unity or reconciliation between traditions. Perhaps culture is also an issue for ecumenists.
In my last post, I reported the new blog, Methodist Ecumenical News. Whilst Exploring Ecumenism will continue to offer a speculative take on ecumenism, MEN will focus on what is current, agreed and of interest to Methodists. I have found writing this blog helpful as a resource I use elsewhere, rather than something my many readers see fit to comment upon.
For me the purpose of blogging is the opportunity it affords to develop ideas, ideas I find I use elsewhere. It is a little odd to be writing a blog about conversation where no-one wishes to engage in conversation but I'm having the conversations elsewhere and so I suppose that is OK.