In his final interview, three days before his death in 1985, the first general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Willem A. Visser 't Hooft, attempted to answer a question he posed himself: “Why is the ecumenical movement not moving?” The danger, he said, was that “we remain stuck in an ecumenism of words and everything is much too polite and friendly.”In 2018, the WCC commemorates the 70th anniversary of its founding assembly in Amsterdam in 1948. As the current WCC general secretary, Olav Fykse Tveit, notes in the article that opens this issue of The Ecumenical Review, the world is living in a time when the purpose and objectives of the WCC are relevant as never before – in the face of polarization within societies, gaps between rich and poor, extremism and violence, and concern about the future of planet Earth. It was following the WCC's 4th Assembly 50 years ago in Uppsala that the WCC embarked on a study programme on the “unity of the church and the unity of humankind,” and the call to unity, writes Tveit, is the basis for all the WCC does. The commitment to overcome historical divisions and to work for
The Ecumenical Review – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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