The year 2017 is an invitation to celebrate. At all levels of church life and in countless countries the anniversary of the 16th century Reformation will be commemorated. But that always poses the question of what exactly is to be celebrated in a situation unlike any previous Reformation centenary.
The ecumenical dialogues have profoundly altered the relationships between the churches. Churches are growing faster in the global South now, shifting the weight of Christianity away from the north. New Christian movements and churches are popping up all over the place. In a fast globalizing world, most socieities are evolving toward being multireligious. Despite the secularism that dominates so many nations, the question of religion is taking on a surprising new urgency, especially with regard to the threat of religious violence. These new challenges are best taken up out of a strong sense of identity and groundedness.
For this reason, the question of “What is Reformation identity?” will be the theme of the next Summer Seminar, which will be hosted by the Institute for Ecumenical Research, affiliated with the Lutheran World Federation, in Strasbourg, France, from July 3 to 10, 2017.