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Project 6: Reception and Impact of Receptive Ecumenism

The latest Receptive Ecumenism project was a three-year programme, led by Dr Gregory Ryan, with the objective of bringing the fruits of the various Receptive Ecumenism projects to final published dissemination in order to ensure their long-term and wide influence. Alongside this, it continued the work of public and ecclesial impact through working with church groups in various regional, national, and international contexts. This included Churches Together groups, public talks, conference papers, and introducing Receptive Ecumenism into a number of pastoral formation programmes.

The Fifth International Conference on Receptive Ecumenism, ‘Transforming Ecumenism: "Listen to What the Spirit is Saying to the Churches"' was held in Sigtuna, Sweden, in 2022. The conference was organised by the Christian Council of Sweden, the Sigtuna Foundation, and the University College Stockholm, and Dr Ryan and Prof. Murray delivered plenary sessions at the conference.


Key Outputs

Receptive Ecumenism as Transformative Ecclesial Learning: Walking the Way to a Church Re-formededited by Paul D. Murray, Gregory A. Ryan and Paul Lakeland (Oxford University Press, 2022)

This collection includes reworked versions of some of the key papers from the Second and Third International Conferences, together with newly-commissioned essays. It examines how Receptive Ecumenism has been received in different traditions and in different cultural contexts, addresses a range of specific issues in the churches, and analyses the principles and practices of the underlying methodology through a fresh set of conversations. The roll-call of 40 authors includes leading theologians and ecumenists, alongside emerging scholars who are now making major contributions to Receptive Ecumenism as a field of study.


Gregory A Ryan, Hermeneutics of Doctrine in a Learning Church: The Dynamics of Receptive Integrity (Brill, 2020)

Dr Ryan’s monograph addressing the theory and practice of Receptive Ecumenism in contemporary Catholicism and reception hermeneutics is published in Brill’s Studies in Systematic Theology series and has been described as ‘ground-breaking analysis’ (Paul Lakeland), and ‘A major work…It will impact not only ecumenical theology, but also the wider discipline of systematic theology’ (Ormond Rush).


Dr Marcus Pound’s book on the North East England Regional Project in Receptive Ecumenism and the Local Church

The project report at the heart of this book contains insights from six denominations who took part in the Local Church Project. Two new essays introduce the project and analyse the findings with an eye to practical learning for church practitioners everywhere.


Healing the Wounds of the Church by Paul D. Murray (in preparation)

This major work brings together a number of Prof. Murray's most significant essays on Receptive Ecumenism, fully revised and updated, together with substantial new material.