Consultation in Klingenthal, September 17-20, 2019

The Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Foundation once again made available the Klingenthal Chateau to the Institute for a scholarly consultation this year. The picturesque chateau is an excellent venue for academic study due to its secluded location. Prof. Dr. Marie-Paule Stintzi, our host, made the participants of the consultation most welcome. We are very grateful for that!

This year’s consultation was dedicated to the theme of the Institute’s new study project. After the completion of the previous study project on “Lutheran Identity” in 2019, the Institute will now focus on “The Unity of the Church in the context of a pluralizing Christianity” in the years ahead.

In order to get a handle on this complex topic, the consultation invited researchers who have already dealt in depth with models of ecumenical unity. Part of the lectures therefore sifted through classical models in Protestant, Anglican, and Roman Catholic theology, discussing the merits and disadvantages of each. Another part of the lectures turned to how the models of unity are explicated as encountered in the ecumenical consensus texts that have had a controversial reception. These include the text “Communion in Growth” (2017), which grew out of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue in Finland, as well as the “Joint CPCE and PCPCU Report on Church and Communion” (2018). Since the theme of “models of unity” should not only be considered dogmatically but also in the context of a “pluralizing Christianity,” another focus was on a sociological analysis of current developments and the question of how to assess them from a sociological point of view.

After instructive lectures and focused discussions, the key questions developed at the end of the consultation will underlie the study project. These questions will keep us busy at the Institute—however, an important cornerstone has been laid during the consultation in Klingenthal.