Orthodox Leader Presents Views on Ecumenism and Globalization

An Orthodox view on ecumenism and globalization highlighted the second day of the World Council of Churches’ Conference on World Mission and Evangelism in Athens.

Dr Athanasios P. Papathanasiou, professor in the Higher Ecclesiastical School of Athens, rejected the two often used characterizations of globalization and post modernity.

"Avoiding the simplistic interpretations which see globalization and post-modernity only as a melting-pot or, on the contrary, only as an inevitable clash of civilizations, we are called to see the present state of affairs as an occasion for critical creativity,” Papathanasiou said in a presentation to the plenary on May 10.

To the Orthodox leader, life is a “conversation to the Trinitarian mode of existence” that can only be viewed when “paired with relationship.”

Therefore, Papathanasiou encouraged church and mission bodies to understand the “authentic experience” by realizing that “otherness is not something parallel or opposite to [one’s own] identity.” He said otherness may be a mere element in relationships in respect to the ecumenical movement.

To view the full text of the statement, visit:

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