Receptive Ecumenism III

Receptive Ecumenism in International Perspective:
Contextual Ecclesial Learning

June 9-12, 2014
Fairfield University, Connecticut, USA

Building upon two previous conferences and jointly organized by the Center for Catholic Studies at Fairfield University and the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University in the United Kingdom, this conference will press the issue of Receptive Ecumenism in the more complex contexts of global Christian reality and in relation to some of the sharpest issues providing causes of tension and division within and between the traditions.

Participants and plenary speakers include:

Rev. Dr. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator S.J., Provincial of the East African Jesuit Province
Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, The Presiding Bishop, the Episcopal Church
Most Rev. David Moxon, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Representative to the Holy See, Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, and Co-Chair of the Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission
Dr. Serene Jones, President, Union Theological Seminary
Dr. Peter Casarella, De Paul University Center for Global Christianity
Bishop Linda Nichols, Bishop of Trent-Durham
Ms. Geraldine Hawkes, Executive Officer, South Australian Council of Churches
Rev. Prof. Francis X. Clooney, S.J., Harvard University 
Rt. Rev. Donald Bolen, Bishop of Saskatoon, Canada
Prof. Catherine E. Clifford, St. Paul University, Ottawa, Canada
Prof. Mara-Clara Bingemer, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro 
Rev. Dr. John Gibaut, Director of the Commission on Faith and Order for the World Council of Churches
Rev. Prof. Michael Nai-Chiu Poon, Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia, Trinity Theological College, Singapore 
Prof. Paul F. Lakeland, Fairfield University 
Prof. Paul D. Murray, Durham University, UK
Dr. Marcus Pound, Durham University UK 

Prof. Dr. Myriam Wijlens, Universität Erfurt, Germany


Conference Program

A preliminary schedule of the conference is available through Digital Commons. It will be updated on an ongoing basis as proposals are accepted and sessions are confirmed.


Before April 1, 2014: $550. Includes participation in all sessions and events, meals and accommodations on campus (suite-style single rooms with shared bath. If your spouse/partner is attending as well, you will be placed together in a double room.) 

After April 1, 2014: $600. Includes participation in all sessions and events, meals and accommodations on campus.

Spouse/partner registration: $350. Includes meals and accommodations on campus (suite-style double room with shared bath.) 

Registration is now open! Register online at

Call for Proposals

Individuals or groups are invited to submit paper, panel, or roundtable proposals for consideration for the two parallel paper sessions scheduled. Individual papers will be allotted a twenty-minute period, with ten minutes for discussion. Panel and roundtable sessions may be proposed that would occupy the entire ninety-minute period.

Proposals are now being accepted. Please read the Call For Proposals for guidelines and instructions on submission. Proposals submissions are to be made online through the conference Digital Commons page by March 15, 2014.

History of Receptive Ecumenism

In January 2006, the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University, in collaboration with Ushaw College and a number of other sponsoring bodies, hosted an international research colloquium on the theme Catholic Learning and Receptive Ecumenism. The colloquium brought together 150 theologians, ecumenists and ecclesiastics from across the traditions in order to explore a fresh way of conceiving the ecumenical task fitted for the contemporary situation - referred to as Receptive Ecumenism. A major volume of essays, Receptive Ecumenism and the Call to Catholic Learning, (Oxford University Press, 2008), flowed from the project.

A second international conference followed at Ushaw College in January 2009 on the theme of Receptive Ecumenism and Ecclesial Learning: Learning to Be Church Together. Approximately 200 church leaders, theologians, ecumenists, ecclesial bureaucrats, social scientists, organizational experts, and local church practitioners engaged in the challenging yet creative exercise of self-critical receptive ecclesial learning from their own respective significant others. A second major volume is currently in preparation with Oxford University Press.

This conference is sponsored by generous grants from The Raskob Foundation, Fairfield University, and the Episcopal Church. Additional assistance is provided by the Anglican Communion Office, the Bible Society UK, the Commission for Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches, and the Institute for Church Life of the University of Notre Dame.