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Reimagining Ecumenism for the 21st Century—Stăniloae’s Theology as a Source and Inspiration

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Jemna, Dănuț 
Mănăstireanu, Dănuț 


jats:pThere are many competent voices who estimate that in recent years ecumenism has been going through a crisis. Concern for ecumenical dialogue is becoming secondary for many theologians or members of the clergy, including hierarchs, who are preoccupied almost exclusively with addressing the problems facing their local and confessional communities. As a result, receptivity to ecumenical dialogue and cooperation is even lower among the faithful, who are preoccupied with assessing their own Christian identity in a socio-cultural context marked by rapid change and unprecedented challenges, of which secularism is only one of many. The disappointing assessment of the state of contemporary ecumenism, has led some ecumenists to an effort of identifying solutions for reimagining interconfessional dialogue in an ever-changing world. Theologians from all Christian traditions seek to contribute to identifying ways to unblock the current situation and to propose concrete approaches for rethinking ecumenism for future generations of believers. One of the ways suggested in the literature is to think of ecumenism less in terms of theological agreements, and more in terms of a process of mutual learning, considering that we can receive and offer our gifts in a mutual process, being aware of the need for each community to be open to such a perspective. In this paper, we argue that the constant receptivity to Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae’s theology, and to his anthropology in particular, that exists in Western traditions can be an opportunity for revitalising the ecumenical dialogue through the gift exchange model described above. We start from the premise that Fr. Stăniloae’s work represents an important gift not just for the Orthodox, but also for many Protestant and Catholic theologians, and we suggest that this direction can produce a reciprocal effect on Orthodox theologians to open up and receive the gifts of Western theology.</jats:p>


Peer reviewed: True


5005 Theology, 50 Philosophy and Religious Studies

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