Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Journal of Ecumenical Studies reviews Ecumenism Means You, Too

The most recent issue of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies (vol. 45, no. 4 [Fall 2010], p. 659) includes a review of my book Ecumenism Means You, Too: Ordinary Christians and the Quest for Christian Unity (Cascade Books, 2010) by Francis A. Sullivan, S.J. of Boston College (previously professor of ecclesiology and dean of the faculty of theology at the Gregorian University in Rome).

Since the site has already posted full text of the review, I'll do so here as well:

Steven R. Harmon, Ecumenism Means You, Too: Ordinary Christians and the Quest for Christian Unity. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2010. Pp. 120. $16.00, paper.

Harmon is well qualified to write about ecumenism, having lectured on it at two divinity schools and actively participated in it as a member of the delegations of the Baptist World Alliance to international theological conversations with the Anglican and Catholic churches. While aware of the reasons why many are discouraged by the slow progress of the ecumenical movement, Harmon bases his hope for its future on his conviction that many young Christian adults truly want the unity that Jesus wants for his church and will respond to the exhortation he addresses to them to become better informed about ecumenism and to take an active part in it. He tells them what they need to know about ecumenism and lists ten things they can do to promote the unity of the church. Among these are to pray for the unity of the church, especially with members of another church; to know their own tradition and commit themselves more deeply to it; to learn about another Christian tradition, almost as they might learn another language; to study Scripture with other Christians and join with them as advocates for peace and care for the environment. What makes his exhortation the more likely to appeal to the young adults he has in mind is the use he makes of the music of the Irish rock band "U2" to express the spirituality of ecumenism that he is convinced one can find in it, even if this was not their explicit intention. The book includes two useful appendices: an annotated bibliography of resources for ecumenical engagement and a glossary of key ecumenical terms.

Francis A Sullivan, S.J., Boston College, Newton, MA

COPYRIGHT 2010 Journal of Ecumenical Studies

Interested in Ecumenism Means You, Too? Order the book directly from Cascade Books or via Amazon.

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