Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Catholic-Baptist dialogue report ordering information (updated)

Members of the Baptist delegation present for the report's presentation in Ocho Rios, Jamaica: (L-R) Timothy George, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, AL; Elizabeth Newman, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Richmond, VA; Tony Peck, General Secretary, European Baptist Federation; Curtis Freeman, Duke University Divinity School, Durham, NC; Denton Lotz, retired General Secretary, Baptist World Alliance; Paul Fiddes, Oxford University; Steven Harmon, Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, Boiling Springs, NC; Tomás Mackey, International Baptist Theological Seminary. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The official report of the second series of conversations between the Baptist World Alliance and the Catholic Church, "The Word of God in the Life of the Church: A Report of International Conversations between the Catholic Church and the Baptist World Alliance, 2006-2010," was presented and discussed at the annual gathering of the Baptist World Alliance in Ocho Rios, Jamaica at a July 3 open forum session of the BWA Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity and was officially received by the BWA in a July 6 session of its General Council.

The report had its initial publication just prior to the gathering in a special issue of the American Baptist Quarterly (vol. 31, no. 1) that includes the full text of the 95-page report along with introductions and commentaries. An editorial introduction by Curtis W. Freeman, who is co-editor of the American Baptist Quarterly as well as Research Professor of Theology and Director of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke University Divinity School, makes connections between these recent international conversations and the national-level conversations that began in 1967 soon after the Second Vatican Council between representatives of the American Baptist Churches USA and the United States Catholic Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. Baptist-Catholic dialogue commission co-chair and report co-editor Paul S. Fiddes, Professor of Systematic Theology at Oxford University, provides an extensive introduction to the report that contextualizes the themes of the report in relation to other ecumenical dialogues the Baptist World Alliance and the Catholic Church have held with other Christian communions. The text of the report itself is followed by a pair of responses to the report by two Baptist theologians of note who were not members of the Baptist delegation to these conversations: a commentary by Josué Fonseca, who was Professor and Academic Dean at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Santiago, Chile from 1978 to 2008 before his current service as pastor of First Baptist Church in Concepcion, Chile, and a commentary by Stephen R. Holmes, Senior Lecturer in Theology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland who is also a minister in the Baptist Union of Scotland.

Sometime in the coming weeks the report will be published electronically on the Vatican web site along with a commentary on the report written by a Catholic theologian, after which the electronic text will also be posted on the Baptist World Alliance web site. When these links are available, notice will be given in posts here at Ecclesial Theology. In the meantime, single copies of the American Baptist Quarterly issue with the report may be ordered for $5.00 plus $3.00 shipping (in the continental United States) from Callie Davis at Duke University Divinity School: cdavis@div.duke.edu.

Update: The report will also be made available as an e-book on Amazon.com. Again, details will be posted here at Ecclesial Theology.

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