Dirk J. Smit


The paper is an attempt to understand and describe how processes of globalisation are
impacting on the Ecumenical Movement. It argues that the Ecumenical Movement has a
concern for the one world based on a normative, theological vision, nowadays often
described with terms related to or derived from oikos, for the household of life in the
economy of the Living Triune God (part 1). During the 20th century, both Faith and
Order and Life and Work attempted to give content to this vision of unity or koinonia,
albeit in diverse and sometimes conflicting ways (part 2). Since Canberra (1991) these
two major ecumenical initiatives together attempted to unite their respective
ecclesiological and ethical concerns in a process called “Ecclesiology and Ethics”.
During three Consultations, on “Costly Unity”, “Costly Commitment” and “Costly
Obedience” respectively, important implications for both church and ethics came to the
fore (part 3). In the light of this process, some conclusions regarding globalisation and
life in community (part 4) and implications for South African society (part 5) are drawn.

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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