From the Worldwide Faith News archives

WCC Ecumenical Dictionary

From "WCC Media" <>
Date Thu, 12 Dec 2002 17:05:24 +0100

World Council of Churches
Press Release PR-02-35
For Immediate Use
12 December 2002

New edition of the Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement published

The long-awaited revised and expanded second edition of the "Dictionary of
the Ecumenical Movement" has just been published. Produced by the World
Council of Churches (WCC), this volume is an essential tool for study and
research on the movement and for passing the ecumenical memory on to a new

With almost 700 articles, 50 of them new and the others revised and updated,
and 370 authors from all Christian confessions and world regions, the new
edition of the dictionary is a window into the richness and diversity of
ecumenical thought and action. 

Eight thousand copies of the first edition were printed and it is now out of
print. This second edition maintains the accuracy, objectivity and wide range
of the first edition, and takes account of the major changes that have taken
place in the world, and the life of the churches, during the decade since it
first appeared. 

Readers will thus find new articles on subjects like "economic
globalization", "ethnic conflict", "religious roots of violence"', as well as
"Pentecostal-Reformed dialogue", "Baptist-Orthodox relations"', and "theology
of religions", among many others.

As with the first edition, editorial responsibility for the dictionary was
entrusted to six leading ecumenical figures: Nicholas Lossky, Josi Miguez
Bonino, John Pobee, Tom F. Stransky, Geoffrey Wainwright and Pauline Webb.
Themes include: 
- principal developments in the history of the ecumenical movement at world,
regional and national levels;
- the life and work of the WCC and other ecumenical bodies and organizations;
- ecumenical concerns of the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian
- important discussions and agreements reached, and ongoing disagreements on
doctrinal matters;
- social, political, legal, cultural and ethical issues from a Christian
- evangelism and mission, worship and prayer, education and the renewal of
the church;
- Christian responsibility towards the poor and their place in church and
 - communicating  the ecumenical vision and dialogue with other faiths; 
 - biographies of distinguished personalities, and an index of leaders and
thinkers whose contributions appear in the articles. 

Throughout its 1,300 pages, multiple cross-references provide links between
the articles, thus enabling wider exploration of the various themes. The
bibliography was composed with the average reader in mind, and its capacity
to supply him/her with additional information.

While at present available only in English, the dictionary will also be
published shortly in French, Italian and Spanish editions, and the
possibility of German and Russian versions is also being investigated. One
article per month will be published on the WCC website over the coming year,
at: .

The constantly changing nature of the ecumenical landscape and the challenges
presently confronting traditional ecumenical orientations inevitably makes
publishing such a work as this a risky undertaking. Nonetheless, as WCC
general secretary Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser indicates in the prologue, the
dictionary is intended "to be a source of inspiration and reliable
orientation for all those who have accepted the call to the unity and renewal
of the church as a personal commitment". 

For further information, please contact Media Relations Office,   tel: +41
(0)22 791 64 21


The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a fellowship of churches, now 342, in
more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian
traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works
cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly, which
meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in
1948 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary
Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.

World Council of Churches
Media Relations Office
Tel: (41 22) 791 6153 / 791 6421
Fax: (41 22) 798 1346

PO Box 2100
1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland

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