Archive for the ‘Ecumenism’ Category

The Ecumenical Apostle

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

I had a delightful time in the hills of Pennsylvania last Thursday giving the annual ecumenical lecture at Mt. Aloysius College in Cresson, PA. It was called “A More Ecumenical Paul: The Jewish, Catholic, Reformed, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Anabaptist (and more) Apostle” (the more was meant to be open-ended, but I ended up focusing on Paul the ecologist). We looked at texts that highlight themes from Paul that have been especially noticed by these various traditions in order to see Paul more as a contributor to Christian unity-in-diversity. We ended with some common, and some not-so-common, themes that emerge from these texts.

Although/because Cresson is super-rural, this small Catholic college draws people for this event from a 50-mile radius or more. Among those in attendance were the current and soon-to-be-appointed Catholic bishops, the Lutheran bishop, the Brethren in Christ Bishop, the Presbyterian presbytery exec, and a whole lot of other really fine people. The spirit of ecumenical openness and cooperation was palpable.

Perhaps the great surprise of the day was being introduced to the college’s ecumenical studies collection in its library, a room full of 18,000 top-notch books and reference materials in theological studies, almost all donated by one retired Lutheran pastor–bought specifically to have a theological library in rural Pennsylvania. I was bowled over by its size and scope. Another grace-filled instance of “bloom where you are planted.”

Cross Talk and 49 Other “Ecumenical” Blogs

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

James Atkinson and Joy Shepherd over at Biblical Learning Blog have put together an interesting list of ecumenical blogs, including this one. They are divided into “Ecumenism in General,” “Theology,” “For and by Women,” “Reaching Out,” and “Emergence Outreach.” (We’re under “Theology.”)

There are some very good links there, and also some, well, unexpected ones (ecumenical Buddhism??).

In any case, thanks to the good folks at Biblical Learning Blog!

The End of the Year of St. Paul

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Today is the feast of Saints Peter and Paul and also the conclusion of the year of St. Paul in the Catholic Church. Although I am a Methodist, because I teach in a Catholic seminary and because my work on Paul is fairly widely read in Catholic academic and ecclesial circles, I gave about 30 or 40 talks and lectures on Paul between September and May in conjunction with the year of St. Paul. It was announced as an ecumenical celebration, and it was.

Two odds and ends related to today:

1. The pope has announced that Paul’s bones have probably been found. Highly unlikely in my view.

2. Peter and Paul were of course not always the best of friends (at least from Paul’s perspective!). But celebrating them together is important: in many ways, they are the Catholic apostle and the Protestant apostle. (Ecumenical) hope springs eternal.