The aim of this course is to examine the basis for ecumenism, including the need for a united response to persistent heresies, secularism and the growth in non-Christian religions.
A brief history of Christian division with a focus on the doctrinal reasons for the various schisms,
The biblical, theological and liturgical basis of ecumenism, and the implications of ecumenism for theology and doctrine,
Development, principles and instruments of the ecumenical movement,
Models of unity: broad church groupings to fight social and racial injustice, for example in the anti-apartheid struggle; the Church of South India, the United Church of Canada, as well as joint communion between denominations,
Ecumenism in South Africa.
(2) Inter-faith dialogue
It is no longer possible for Christianity to assert its claim to be the “true” religion. The modern trend is to engage in dialogue with other faiths on the basis of equals, and to attempt to find common ground.
An evaluation of the major philosophical and theological issues which inter-faith dialogue raises for Christianity,
The main contours of the history of Christian relations with Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and African traditional religions,
The problems and possibilities emerging from inter-faith dialogue.