The World Council of Churches has published a revised and expanded edition of its 'Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement,' a valuable tool for study and research on the many facets of the search for Christian unity.
With almost 700 articles and 370 authors from all Christian groups around the world, the 1300-page volume is a 'window into the richness and diversity of ecumenical thought and action,' according to the publisher. The new edition takes into account the major changes that have taken place in the world and the life of the churches since the first edition published a decade ago.
Among the themes in the dictionary are: ecumenical developments at all levels of church life; the work of the WCC and other ecumenical bodies; ecumenical concerns of the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian communions; discussions and agreements on doctrinal matters; social, political, legal, cultural and ethical issues from a Christian perspective; evangelism and mission, worship and prayer, education and the renewal of the church; Christian responsibility toward the poor; communicating the ecumenical vision and dialogue with other faiths; biographies of distinguished ecumenists, thinkers and leaders.
While available only in English at this time, it will also be published soon in French, Italian and Spanish with the possibility of later editions in German and Russian. One article per month will be published on the WCC web site in the coming year.
As WCC General Secretary Konrad Raiser notes in the prologue, the dictionary is intended 'to be a resource 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 more information go to the WCC web site at www.wcc-coe.org.)