On the Way to Fellowship

Auf dem Weg zur Gemeinschaft. 50 Jahre internationaler evangelisch-lutherisch/römisch-katholischer Dialog ["On the Way to Fellowship: 50 Years of International Evangelical Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue], eds. André Birmelé und Wolfgang Thönissen (Paderborn and Leipzig: Bonifatius and EVA, 2018), 423 pp.

In April 2018 (finally!) this volume appeared which contains the contributions to the 2016 Summer Seminar hosted by the Institute. The book is dedicated to Theodor Dieter, who celebrated his 65th birthday during the seminar. Its theme was the same as the first Lutheran-Catholic international dialogue decided upon at the Institute in April 1966, which had its first meeting in 1967. The organizers of the seminar saw to it that participants from various rounds of the dialogue assembled at the seminar. In pairs, a Catholic and a Lutheran speaker illuminated the road traveled so far. Reports on the developments on various continents, methodological reflections, and perspectives for the future completed the picture.

The book is introduced by the contribution of the recently deceased Cardinal Lehmann and the conclusion comes from Martin Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation. Special thanks are due Elke Leypold, the Institute’s Administrative Assistant, who undertook all the necessary editorial tasks for the production of the volume. The book may be thought of as a reference guide that lays out the history, background, and development of the dialogue, leading up to the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in 1999 and the key role of Pope Francis at the Reformation jubilee worship service in Lund, Sweden, in 2016.