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One with God

Salvation as Deification and Justification

Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen

In recent decades the doctrine of salvation has become a key issue in international ecumenical conversations between Lutherans and Roman Catholics and also between Lutherans and Eastern Orthodox. The 1998 Joint Declaration on Justification between the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation is a historic milestone in those efforts. Advances in ecumenical conversations have challenged the traditional opinion according to which the Lutheran view of justification by faith has been thought to be opposed to both the Eastern Orthodox doctrine of theosis (deification) and the Roman Catholic view of justification, which also includes sanctification. In One With God Kärkkäinen points out that amidst all the differences between the East and West with regard to theological orientations and the language and concepts for soteriology, there is a common motif to be found: union with God. Both the Eastern understanding of theosis and the Western idea of justification have union as the ultimate goal. Chapters are "Salvation as Union," “Justification in Recent New Testament Scholarship,” “Deification in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition,” “Justification and Deification in Martin Luther's Theology,” “Deification, Union, and Sanctification in Later Protestant Theologies,” “Salvation as Union: Towards an Ecumenical Convergence,” and “One with God: In Search of a Consensual View of Salvation.” Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, D.Theol. Habil., is professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

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Justification and the Future of the Ecumenical Movement

The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification

William G. Rusch, Editor; George Lindbeck, Walter Cardinal Kasper, Henry Chadwick, R. William Franklin, Michael Root, Gabriel Fackre, Edward Idris Cassidy, Valerie A. Karras, and Frank D. Macchia, Con

On October 31, 1999, in Augsburg, Germany, officials of the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church signed two documents, an Official Common Statement with its Annex and the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. The Lutheran Churches belonging to the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church were declaring publicly and in a binding manner that a consensus in basic truths of the doctrine of justification exists between Lutherans and Catholics. Within four months of the Augsburg signing, the Yale University Divinity School and the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale sponsored a theological conference "Justification and the Future of the Ecumenical Movement." The goal of the conference was to begin testing the wider import of the Joint Declaration. The essays in Justification and the Future of the Ecumenical Movement explore the larger implications of the Joint Declaration. The majority of the chapters are the presentations made at Yale in 2000. Three of the chapters were written later than the Yale conference and are included in this collection to expand the range of the discussion and to add new insights. Justification and the Future of the Ecumenical Movement includes: Introduction by William G. Rusch; “The University and Ecumenism,” by George Lindbeck; “The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification: A Roman Catholic Perspective,” by Walter Cardinal Kasper; “An Anglican Reaction: Across the Reformation Divide,” by Henry Chadwick; “A Model for a New Joint Declaration: An Episcopal Reaction to the Joint Declaration on Justification,” by R. William Franklin; “The Implications of the Joint Declaration on Justification and Its Wider Impact for Lutheran Participation in the Ecumenical Movement,” by Michael Root; “The Joint Declaration and the Reformed Tradition,” by Gabriel Fackre; “The Joint Declaration on Justification: A Significant Ecumenical Achievement,” by Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy; “Beyond Justification: An Orthodox Perspective,” by Valerie A. Karras; and “Justification and the Spirit of Life: A Pentecostal Response to the Joint Declaration,” by Frank D. Macchia. William G. Rusch, D.Phil., executive director of the Foundation for a Conference on Faith and Order in North America, is active in national and global ecumenical affairs. From 1990 until 2001 Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy served as the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church at the Vatican. Professor Henry Chadwick has held the Regius chairs of Divinity both at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. He has been a member of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission and the author of numerous books and articles on patristic and ecumenical themes. Professor Gabriel Fackre is an emeritus faculty member of Andover Newton Theological School. He was a member of the Lutheran-Reformed dialogue in the United States. He has written extensively in the areas of systematic and ecumenical theology. Professor R. William Franklin is dean emeritus of Berkeley Divinity School, Yale University. He is currently the Bishop's Scholar-in-Residence for the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Professor Valerie A. Karras is a member of the faculty of St. Louis University. She is a patristics scholar and a member of the Greek Archdiocese of America. Her writings include both patristic topics and ecumenical themes. Since 2001 Walter Cardinal Kasper has served as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity at the Vatican. Formerly a professor of theology and diocesan bishop in Germany, he has written in the fields of systematic and ecumenical theology. Cardinal Kasper is a former member of the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches. Professor George Lindbeck is an emeritus member of the faculty of the Divinity School of Yale University. A Lutheran layman, he was an observer at the Second Vatican Council, and a member of the American and International Lutheran-Roman dialogues. He is an author of works dealing with systematic theology and Lutheran-Roman Catholic relations. Professor Frank D. Macchia is a member of the faculty of Vanguard University. An ordained minister in the Assemblies of God, he is a past president of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. He has published in the areas of spirituality and pneumatology, especially in the context of Pietism and Pentecostalism. Professor Michael Root is a member of the faculty of Trinity Lutheran Seminary. A Lutheran layman, he has served as research professor and director of the Institute of Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France. He is a member of the Lutheran/Roman Catholic Dialogue in the United States and has written or translated several works dealing with ecumenical theology.

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Ecumenical Dialogue

Ecumenical Dialogue

Angelo Maffeis; Lorelei F. Fuchs, SA Translator

Ecumenical Dialogue surveys the historical and theological foundations of the ecumenical movement and the role of dialogue in the churches' commitment to manifest their unity in a full and visible way. Angelo Maffeis traces these foundations as they emerge in multilateral and bilateral settings of interchurch encounter. Special attention is given to conciliar ecumenism and to the dialogues to which the Roman Catholic Church is partner. Delineating the nature of dialogue and shaping its structure, Maffeis considers the conditions for authentic dialogue and an ecumenical theology that sustains the reception of ecumenical findings. Ecumenical Dialogue includes a bibliography of select sources pertinent to the ecumenical movement in general and ecumenical dialogue in particular. Angelo Maffeis is a member of the Church’s Commission on Faith and Ecumenical Affairs as well as a member of the International Catholic-Lutheran Dialogue.

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God and the Gift

An Ecumenical Theology of Giving

Risto Saarinen

The observation that contemporary theological and philosophical discussions about ecumenism center on the issues of reception and the gift but neglect the basic act of giving is the starting point of God and the Gift. Risto Saarinen asks if we can approach these discussions from the perspective of giver? In God and the Gift Saarinen demonstrates that we do have theological resources that enable us to outline a theology of giving. He deals with basic philosophical and theological resources and outlines some specific modes of giving, in particular forgiveness, sacrifice and thanksgiving, and living by example. God and the Gift outlines a brief theology of giving by employing both classical theology and contemporary discussions. It also points out the ecumenical relevance of the theology of giving. For those who are more interested in particular theological and philosophical topics, some new interpretations are offered for further discussion. Among these are an interpretation of forgiveness as negative giving, a discussion on the relationship between sacrifice and divine non-violence, and a new proposal to conceptualize various types of Christian imitation. These aims are connected with the overall claim that instead of looking at reception and the gift itself we should focus on giving. Saarinen illustrates this shift of perspective with observations and examples. Though not discussed exhaustively, they serve as preliminary signposts showing us the way to proceed. Chapters are "Introduction: Giving and Receiving," “The Gift: Contemporary Approaches,” “New Testament and Martin Luther,” “Forgiveness and Negative Giving,” “Sacrifice and Thanksgiving,” “Giving an Example—Being Gifted,” and “Ecumenical Sharing.” Risto Saarinen, ThD, PhD, is professor of ecumenical theology at the University of Helsinki and a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. He served as research professor at the Centre d'Etudes Oecumeniques in Strasbourg from 1994 to 1999.

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Communio Sanctorum

The Church as the Communion of Saints

Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Germany and the Lutheran Church of Germany; Mark Jeske, Michael Root, and Dan Smith, Translators

Communio Sanctorum is the most recent product of the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in Germany and the first major Lutheran-Catholic ecumenical statement since the ground-breaking Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. It focuses on the ecclesiastical issues that the Joint Declaration identified as the remaining obstacles to Lutheran-Catholic communion. It describes the church as the communion of saints and then uses that description as a framework for addressing some of the most ecumenical issues: sacraments, ministry, the role of the church in salvation, and papacy. While not claiming to have finally settled such difficult issues Communio Sanctorum does represent a new convergence on these questions. Uniquely, the dialogue then uses this understanding of the communion of the saints to address issues related to the communion that transcends death: the nature of eternal life, prayers for the dead, veneration of the saints and Mary. Communio Sanctorum has sparked vigorous debate in Germany and makes a major contribution both to Lutheran-Catholic dialogue and to the wider ecumenical enterprise.

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