Apostolicity : The Ecumenical Question in World Christian Perspective

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What constitutes the unity of the church over time and across cultures? Can our account of the church's apostolic faith embrace the cultural diversity of world Christianity? The ecumenical movement that began in the twentieth century posed the problem of the church's apostolicity in profound new ways. In the attempt to find unity in the midst of the Protestant-Catholic schism, participants in this movement defined the church as a distinct culture--complete with its own structures, rituals, architecture and music. Apostolicity became a matter of cultivating the church's own (Western) culture. At the same time it became disconnected from mission, and more importantly, from the diverse reality of world Christianity. In this pioneering study, John Flett assesses the state of the conversation about the apostolic nature of the church. He contends that the pursuit of ecumenical unity has come at the expense of dealing responsibly with crosscultural difference. By looking out to the church beyond the West and back to the New Testament, Flett presents a bold account of an apostolicity that embraces plurality.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 390 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25mm | 544g
  • InterVarsity Press
  • Inter-Varsity Press,US
  • Illinois, United States
  • English
  • 0830850953
  • 9780830850952
  • 292,819

Review quote

"In many respects, this work by John Flett is an outstanding contribution to international ecumenism and to the discussion on current issues in mission theology. The topic of apostolicity touches on the question of continuity, and it also touches on the question of crossing boundaries in the service of mission. As Swedish bishop and mission studies scholar Bengt Sundkler was wont to say, 'Transplantation means mutation.' John Flett outlines the different positions of various denominational traditions (Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, etc.) and he relates perspectives from the southern hemisphere to those from the northern hemisphere. In so doing, the book builds bridges and contributes toward mutual understanding. Flett's approach is as integrative as it is innovative and will certainly stimulate the ongoing discussion. This is a remarkable effort that deserves the highest praise."--Henning Wrogemann, Protestant University Wuppertal/Bethel, author of Intercultural Theologyshow more