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Centre for Catholic Studies

Project 1: Receptive Ecumenism and Catholic Learning: exploring a way for contemporary ecumenism

First International Receptive Ecumenism Conference (January 2006, Durham University)

In January 2006, the CCS hosted an international research colloquium that brought together 150 international standing theologians, ecumenists, and ecclesiastics from across various Christian traditions to explore a fresh way of conceiving the ecumenical task fitted for the contemporary situation. The project tested this strategy in relation to Catholicism (the host tradition), hence the full title: Catholic Learning and Receptive Ecumenism. It was experienced by all as a remarkable, graced happening. Senior theologians, ecumenists and ecclesiastics variously spoke of the event and the fresh thinking it introduced as ‘historic’, ‘groundbreaking’, ‘opening a new chapter in ecumenism’, and as ‘providing the much needed model for future initiatives’.

A major volume of essays came out of this project, Receptive Ecumenism and the Call to Catholic Learning (Oxford University Press, 2008), the publication of which was marked by a high-profile book-launch in Rome in October 2008, hosted by the Centro Pro Unione during the Synod of Bishops. The volume and the broader movement of thought it articulates has received significant international attention, being spoken of as marking a breakthrough for contemporary ecumenism.

The conference was also the occasion of bestowing an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree on HE Cardinal Walter Kasper, former President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.


Prof Murray’s speech at the Opening Ceremony
Prof Murray’s Keynote Address: 'Catholic Learning and Receptive Ecumenism: Rationale and Vision'