Liberating Ecumenism: an ecclesiological dialogue with the Final Report of the Special Commission on Orthodox participation in the World Council of Churches
Author(s)McGeoch, Graham Gerald
BT Doctrinal Theology
BV Practical Theology
BX Christian Denominations
JC Political theory
JZ International relations
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AbstractThe thesis attempts to address Orthodox Church concerns about the Protestant nature and ethos of the ecumenical movement, as it is encountered in the World Council of Churches, by examining Orthodox theological contributions to ecclesiology. This preliminary work is undertaken, as a first step, to establish points of dialogue with the theology of liberation and wider critical theories, in the search for a liberating ecumenism. At the same time, and in a second step (to follow the epistemology of the theology of liberation), this Orthodox theology is placed in a critical dialogue with the theology of liberation in the search for liberating ecclesiological perspectives that can contribute to the movement in ecumenism. This uneasy dialogue helps to recover absent epistemologies from ongoing ecumenical dialogues by re-reading orthodoxies, both ecumenical and ecclesiological, from a liberationist paradigm, and sets ecclesiology within the wider framework of contributions from critical theory. This dialogue between Orthodox theology and the theology of liberation helps to construct an ecclesiology that liberates ecumenism by setting ecclesiology and the ecumenical movement in the wider context of social movements. This thesis calls the ecumenical movement to ‘another possible world’ influenced by people-centred ecclesiologies, which transgresses the canonical boundaries in the ecumenical movement. To be ecumenical implies an Orthodox content to ecclesiology, otherwise the ecumenical movement is open to charges of pan-Protestantism. It is by embracing Orthodoxy that the ecumenical movement can move beyond hegemonic colonial projects and find a liberating praxis. This thesis proposes a dialogue that reflects the structure of the Final Report of the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in the World Council of Churches. However, it engages with Orthodox ecclesiology and ecumenical histories from the perspective of the theology of liberation in the search for a liberating ecumenism and proposes a praxis that develops movement in the ecumenical and the ecclesiological through developing an ecclesiology from different peripheries of the Church.
McGeoch, Graham Gerald (2015) Liberating Ecumenism: an ecclesiological dialogue with the Final Report of the Special Commission on Orthodox participation in the World Council of Churches. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.