Welcome to the web area for Juridical Ecumenism and the Christian Law Project. This is a resource for Canon Lawyers, National Ecumenical Officers and other church representatives who engage in legal matters.
The Christian Law Project is the work of an ecumenical team of canon lawyers and theologians exploring ways in which church law, rules and conventions might converge in a new way of deepening ecumenical work, hence the title of this area of ecumenical work, 'Juridical Ecumenism'. A set of Principles with wide ecumenical convergence has already been published in the Ecclesiastical Law Journal (2017: Vol. 19, Ecc LJ 138–155, download below) and these are now being discussed in various places in Europe, Australia and wider.
Paul Goodliff, CTE's General Secretary writes:
"This new approach, originating in Britain and Europe, promises to establish a new strand in the web of approaches that strengthens the ecumenical fabric, alongside, for instance, faith and order, practical ecumenism and missional collaboration. Recognising how much the various Christian traditions and polities have in common, and discovering common approaches, Christian law — the regulatory outworking of our understanding of the gospel and the church — has only once been explored ecumenically before (by the WCC, and then only briefly), and so this quite groundbreaking initiative needs some ‘unpacking.’ Our seminar hopes to do just that within the English ecumenical scene."
Juridical Ecumenism: a new approach to Church Unity - a seminar
This seminar Juridical Ecumenism: a new approach to Church Unity, was organised by the Juridical Ecumenism Project and the Christian Law Project, and hosted by Churches Together in England. It took place on Thursday 20 June 2019
The General Secretary of CTE, Rev Dr Paul Goodliff, is the Baptist member of the panel that developed the Principles, and hosted the event in central London at CTE's offices. Other contributors presenting the work of this project included Professor Norman Doe of the University of Cardiff, a leading expert in religious law and Director of the Centre for Law and Religion, and Professor Mark Hill QC, the Chair of The Ecclesiastical Law Society and a leading canon lawyer in the Church of England, and Chancellor of the Dioceses of Chichester, Leeds and Europe.
With the World Council of Churches fascinated by this approach to ecumenism, and various church traditions in Europe beginning to take note of this development, CTE believes this is the moment to share the fruits of the work of this panel of law experts thus far, and to explore with English churches the ways in which juridical ecumenism might contribute to our unity and mission together.
Read more about the juridical ecumenism seminar in this news piece.