What is ‘Ecumenism’?
The origin of the English word ecumenical is the ancient Greek oikoumene. The root of this word is oikos, a house, and its original meaning relates to those who live together in a household. By a process of extension it came to refer to the whole inhabited earth. This is a similar journey to that undertaken by another word coming from the root of oikos, economy, which began as the management of the household.
The New Testament uses the word oikoumene (oikoumenh) in the sense of the whole inhabited earth in several places. To give some well-known examples:
Ecumenical as used for the first councils of the Ancient Church
The word “ecumenical” acquired its ecclesiastical connotations through the name being applied to the early councils of the church from the Council of Nicaea in 325.
The word ecumenical when applied to Nicaea and subsequent councils became associated with that which is authoritative and valid throughout the whole Church.
An ecumenical council becomes understood as a body which speaks on behalf of the whole Church.
The Abrahamic Religions: An Introduction to World Religions
The subject will provide background on three Abrahamic Religions, or the world religions called Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is a brief primer on their geographic and spiritual origins, the basic beliefs, scriptures, and practices of each faith. It describes the calendars and major celebrations in each tradition.
Aspects of the moral and ethical beliefs and the family and social values of the faiths are discussed. Comparison and contrast among the three Abrahamic Religions help to explain what enabled their adherents to share in cultural, and social life, and what aspects of the faiths might result in disharmony among their adherents.
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