Item description for Visible Church-Visible Unity: Ecumenical Ecclesiology and "the Great Tradition of the Church" (Unitas Books) by Ola Tjorhom & Geoffrey Wainwright...
Overview In Visible Church Visible Unity Ola Tjrhom explores central questions in current ecclesiological and ecumenical debates from the perspective of an evangelical catholicity of "the Great Tradition of the Church." Tjrhom shows how the fundamental visibility of the Church and the similarly visible nature of Church fellowship is a corrective cover against "invisible" perceptions of these entities. This theme of visibility is developed in view of the sacraments, the ministries, and the mission of the Church.
Publishers Description In Visible Church-Visible Unity Ola Tjorhom explores central questions in current ecclesiological and ecumenical debates from the perspective of an evangelical catholicity of "the Great Tradition of the Church." Tjorhom shows how the fundamental visibility of the Church and the similarly visible nature of church fellowship is a corrective cover against "invisible" perceptions of these entities. This theme of visibility is developed in view of the sacraments, the ministries, and the mission of the Church. Visible Church-Visible Unity includes "Chapter 1: Toward the End of the Reformation Project? The Riddle of Protestantism," "Chapter 2: The Great Tradition of the Church'-An Old Way Forward?" "Chapter 3: The Church-Mother of Faith and Priest of Creation," "Chapter 4: The Goal of Visible Unity-Reaffirming Our Commitment," and "Chapter 5: Life in the Spirit-Toward a 'Materialist' Spirituality."
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Studio: Liturgical Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 8.75" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2004
Publisher Liturgical Press
Series Unitas Books
ISBN 0814628737 ISBN13 9780814628737
Availability 0 units.
More About Ola Tjorhom & Geoffrey Wainwright
Tjorham is professor of dogmatics and ecumenical theology at the School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger, Norway.
Reviews - What do customers think about Visible Church-Visible Unity: Ecumenical Ecclesiology and "the Great Tradition of the Church" (Unitas Books)?
No easy thing... Mar 19, 2004
It is not an easy thing to be an ecumenist these days. I work and study at an ecumenical seminary, in which there are upwards of 40 denominations represented among the student body, nearly a dozen among the faculty and staff, and a great longing for those things that bring us together, only to discover at the end of the day (or, more accurately, on Sunday mornings) that we are just a different and divided as ever. The hour of church on Sunday mornings has often been called 'the most segregated hour of the week', and this occurs not just along denominational lines, but also along racial and class lines as well, as people worship the one God in many different and narrow ways.
The twentieth century saw a great effort toward ecumenical action, including such bodies as the World Council of Churches and the Consultation on Church Union/Churches Uniting in Christ initiatives, which only seemed to slow as denominations sought a more bilateral agreement system -- rather in the way the United Nations declined in relevance in favour of more immediate bilateral and multilateral trade and political agreements among nations.
Tjorhom writes from an initially Lutheran perspective, fully aware of the history of division between the Lutherans and the Roman Catholics. If there is one narrow aspect to this text, it is that it sees this as the greatest and primary split in the unity of the church, which is not always the case geographically or historically. However, Tjorhom does include the greater diversity of Christian voices in the ecumenical movement, seeing the shift away from efforts toward an organic unity (to use Newbigin's terminology) more toward a static pluralism (Wainwright), or peaceful co-existence (and, alas, not always so peaceful).
One of the interesting aspects of this is that while Tjorhom started out a Lutheran, by the time of the publication of this text, he had converted to Roman Catholicism, seeing a change in both churches of such order that he felt more at home to live out the kind of catholicism inherent in the Reformation ideal of Martin Luther back in the Roman Catholic church. Tjorhom has definite ideas about the protestant project that changes the church too much for his taste and spirituality.
The first chapter addresses largely historical issues adapted up to the present day -- taking a cue from Pelikan's book 'The Riddle of Catholicism', Tjorhom subtitles this first chapter 'The Riddle of Protestantism'. In the second chapter, Tjorhom looks at the ten aspects of ecclesiology that make up the 'Great Tradition of the Church', attempting to reclaim from history a living and growing sense for the churches today. Following from this, the subsequent chapters see the church as an ecumenical vision, a community of holiness and witness to the world, one that needs to have an outward and inward unity to be effective in ministry. Tjorhom uses the idea of 'differentiated consensus' to address the remaining areas of concern and divergence, so that the church doesn't become a meaningless collection of autocephalous/autonomous groups.
Tjorhom presents a somewhat bleak picture, and does not hold out any easy hopes for church unity at any time soon. Short of the an acceptance (largely on the part of the Protestant side) of a more catholic understanding of the Great Traditions of the Church, Tjorhom's only other feasible option for unity presented is conversion, which he admits seems like defeat to those who would then have to convert. Alas, this is not a very practical solution, even if it has a touch of realism to it.
In some ways, this volume is similar to Cardinal Newman's explanation of his conversion to the Roman Catholic church away from the Anglican church. Rather than being an exploration of ecumenical possibilities, Tjorhom is explaining his own conversion process, perhaps in the hope that others will be similarly affected, not necessarily to convert, but to consider the tasks needed to regain overall ecclesial unity.