The Concordat of Agreement between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: Lessons on the Way toward Full Communion (Toro

The Concordat of Agreement between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: Lessons on the Way toward Full Communion (Toro

By: Thomas A. Baima (author)Hardback

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Although the "Concordat of Agreement" passed the 1999 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Churchwide Assembly, there was still a solid bloc of Lutherans who refused to receive its theology. This study examines the decision-making process which led to the failure of the "Concordat" at the 1997 ECLA Churchwide Assembly for the deeper causes of the ongoing non-reception. Using insights from several theological disciplines (canon law, ecclesiology, ecumenism, and sacramental theology), as well as organizational behaviour and management, it analyzes the verbatim transcripts of the 1997 assembly. The data gained from this research identifies and analyzes both the method of bilateral dialogue and the content of the theological propositions regarding historic episcopacy the three-fold ministry which form the causes of the non-reception of he "Concordat". The findings identify a flaw in the method used in the ELCA bilateral dialogues - the lack of inter-governance to balance the intercommunion. This insight challenges other bilateral dialogues to examine their method as well. Also, by reviewing these findings from the standpoint of ecclesiology, it is able to generalize how the flaws could affect the communion at the global level.


Part 1 Problem of awareness: Lutheran-Episcopal dialogue; "baptism, Eucharist and ministry" as agenda-defining document; historical point of division; possible reaction to a Concordat failure - Episcopal, evangelical Lutheran, other bilateral and multi-lateral dialogues, intra-Lutheran issues; problem awareness. Part 2 Problem priority: definitions and theological notions of full communion; the reformed/Lutheran formula of agreement; action that cannot be delayed; embarrassment; awareness of internal division; Missouri Synod as a component of the context. Part 3 Problem dimensions: theological presentations at the Churchwide assembly; theologian's presentation against the "Concordat"; theological objections; corporate culture objections; theological presentation in favour of the "Concordat"; interventions from the floor; notion of hierarchy; imprecision; lack of unanimity among Lutheran drafters; constitutional agreement; confessional conformity; divisiveness; lay ministry and the priesthood of all believers; unitary ordination; role of bishops and historical episcopate; mutual giving; scandal at rejection; mission; problems of ecumenical sources, sacramental theology and decision-making. Part 4 Characteristic distinctions: between the ecumenical statement and the statement on ministry; aspects of "episkope" and the role of bishops; three-fold ministry; historical succession; internal issues vs. external relations; evangelical Catholic vs. Reformation; predecessor body issues and the ELCA; ministry and governance; bishops and deacons; confessional identity vs. ecumenical theology; Lutheran theological tradition and American cultural context. Part 5 Changes in the characteristic distinctions: changes in the structures of decision-making; changes within the Churchwide assembly; changes in the understanding of ministry; changes in the ELCA's position in American culture. Part 6 Cause formation: insights from management science and organizational behaviour studies; cause of the problem of decision-making. Part 7 Methodological reflections: reflection; recommendations of the ELCA; recommendations to the bilateral dialogues; conclusion.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780773467019
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 262
  • ID: 9780773467019
  • ISBN10: 0773467017

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