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Document Details :
Title: Discernment, Ecumenical Dialogue, and the Transformation of the Polis
Author(s): OKPALEKE, Ikenna Paschal
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 44 Issue: 1 Date: 2021
The task of ecumenical dialogue has largely been framed within the context of Christian unity. Consequently, its power to drive social transformation has always been considered secondary, even in the case of social ecumenism. In challenging this limitation, this essay argues that ecumenical dialogue ought to be interpreted as a form of political theology, with an inclusive participation that goes beyond Christian or religious boundaries. To defend such a claim, the essay (a) appropriates Pope Francis’ concept of discernment with its hermeneutics of participation, (b) deploys the principle of non-dualism in establishing the relationship between ecumenical dialogue and political theology, and (c) outlines the critical criteria for the possibility of social transformation through ecumenical dialogue. Overall, the essay aims at extending the transformative value of ecumenical dialogue beyond the narrow goal of Christian unity.