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(Redirected from Ecumenical)

The word "ecumenism" (ek-yoo-muh-niz-uhm) is derived from the Greek oikoumene, which means "the inhabited world". The term is usually used with regard to movements toward religious unity. In its most broad meaning therefore, ecumenism is the religious initiative towards world-wide unity. At a minimum, ecumenism is the promotion of unity, co-operation, or improved understanding between distinct religious groups or denominations within the same religion more or less broadly defined.

Two general types of ecumenism are discernible. The interfaith ecumenical movement strives for greater mutual respect, toleration, and co-operation between the world religions. Ecumenism in this sense is discussed at great length under the entry on religious pluralism. This is distinguishable from ecumenism within a faith-group.

One of the important theoreticians of ecumenism was a French priest and theologian Yves Congar.


Ecumenical council

In the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches an ecumenical council is a council of nearly all bishops of the whole church, capable of infallible decisions on theological questions. Catholics construe "the whole church" as including only Catholics. Eastern Orthodoxy construes it as including only, and with the consent of all of, the Orthodox which, they contend, since the Great Schism, consists of only the Eastern Orthodox; they call the Patriarch of Constantinople the "Ecumenical Patriarch" and "first among equals" - he has jurisdiction within his patriarchate and in those other parts of the world without another patriarch.

The World Council of Churches or WCC is an ecumenical council of representatives from most Protestant and Orthodox churches worldwide, with observers from the Holy See. It strives for world Christian unity and action, especially with regard to world relief organizations and messages of faith. Ecumenicalism is a movement among Protestant, and to some extent, Orthodox churches to bring Christian theology together, although to date Roman Catholics have not been interested in joining this movement as the Pope and Catholic Church generally believe they are already a universal and authentic church.


Hinduism is a religion that some would argue is inherently ecumenical and teaches a fundamental doctrine of multilateralism in regards to truth and spirituality. Hinduism teaches that all religious, philosophical, and spiritual paths - when followed with a common base of human morality and love - will reveal truth to the seeker, regardless of professed creed. This is largely based on a passage from the Vedas which states, "Ekam sat, viprah bahudha vadanti", or, "Truth is one, but the wise call it by many names".

See also

External links

fr:Œcumnisme nl:Oecumene no:kumenikk pl:Ekumenizm fi:Ekumenia pt:Ecumenismo ru:Ойкумена


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