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Receptive Ecumenism

The essential principle behind Receptive Ecumenism is that the primary ecumenical responsibility is to ask not "What do the other traditions first need to learn from us?" but "What do we need to learn from them?" The assumption is that if all were asking this question seriously and acting upon it then all would be moving in ways that would both deepen our authentic respective identities and draw us into a more intimate relationship. 

The diagnostic task of Receptive Ecumenism is undergirded by several methodological principles: 

  1. To recognise that in becoming all that we are called to be, we must own the responsibility that we can only change ourselves rather than others, that we are being resourced for this, and that this task takes time
  2. To learn from and across our denominational differences in a mutually enriching way that fosters growth within traditions by finding the beauty of another tradition’s focus
  3. To summon churches to return to their core callings in fresh ways that appropriately cohere with the form and patterns of received tradition
  4. To engage a future-oriented understanding of the Christian tradition as a dynamic web that is open to growth and change
  5. To emphasise that the ecclesial dimension of conversion includes the ongoing development of the organisational, structural, cultural, and practical aspects of the church
  6. To embrace the unilateral willingness of ecclesial conversion for the sake of the ongoing flourishing of one’s own tradition in love
  7. The church is always in the service of the truth of Christ’s Kingdom, which must be lived out with attentive hospitality of the life and flourishing of other traditions
  8. To call churches to grow visibly together in structural and sacramental unity with the Triune God

Projects and Conferences 

Receptive Ecumenism has given birth to seven major projects, incorporating five international conferences, with the latest taking place in June 2023: 

  • Project 1
    Receptive Ecumenism and Catholic Learning: Exploring a way for contemporary ecumenism
  • Project 2 
    Receptive Ecumenism and Ecclesial Learning: Learning to be church together
  • Project 3
    Receptive Ecumenism and the Local Church: A regional comparative research project in the North East of England
  • Project 4
    Receptive Ecumenism in International Perspective: Ecclesial learning in context
  • Project 5
    Ecclesial Learning About Women and the English Churches Through Receptive Ecumenism
  • Project 6 
    Reception and Impact of Receptive Ecumenism 
  • Project 7
    'Learning on the Way' - 2023 Symposium on Synodality and Receptive Ecumenism
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