1 The 31st of October 1517 has become a symbol of the Reformation of the sixteenth century. In 2017, the 500 th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation will be commemorated and celebrated. Already now, looking forward to this year creates a big ecumenical challenge since Protestants and Roman Catholics have very different conceptions and connotations of ‘Reformation’. In most cases, Protestants would connect ‘Reformation’ with regaining a fresh understanding of the gospel and assurance of faith and freedom, while Roman Catholics would associate it with the split of the Western Church. Anniversaries and especially centenaries have been occasions when churches have retold the history of the Reformation. We recount history, since it is by knowing where we come from that we can understand who we are. But Protestant and Roman Catholic narratives of the Reformation have been different or even opposed. Moreover, these narratives have served to legitimize or delegitimize the existence of Protestant churches, and likewise for the Roman Catholic Church. But now we have a new situation, since the 2017 centenary will take place for the first time in an ecumenical age. 2017 will not only see 500 years of Reformation but also fifty
Ecclesiology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2012
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