Ecumenism: Gospel imperative, harsh reality, and pilgrim journey (D. W. D. Shaw memorial lecture 2023)

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Paul T. Nimmo


This paper offers a series of reflections on ecumenism today, first delivered on the occasion of the Shaw Lecture in St Andrews in February 2023. It begins with the gospel imperative of ecumenism, exploring its substance and its history. In a second section, it considers the harsh reality of ecumenism, and reflects upon its persistent challenges. In a third section, it proposes that present-day ecumenism might be conceived as a particular kind of pilgrim journey – as a difficult peregrinatio that seeks the place of resurrection but that has no clear destination. And by way of conclusion, it offers some observations on the specific ecclesiastical context of Scotland.

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