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In 1988 William G. Rusch offered a volume tracing the developments of the idea of reception to that time. During the intervening years, both reflection about reception and the experience of attempting to engage in it have progressed rapidly. Rusch believes now is the time to re-examine the concept. The first chapter explains some preliminary concepts on this idea and how it is used in various fields. Chapter two eyes reception from a Biblical perspective as a Christian theological process. "Classical" reception in the complete history of the church to the twentieth century is examined in chapter four. The fifth chapter deals with the changes in the concept in the new millennium, focusing on "ecumenical" reception. In Chapter six, Rusch shares examples - successes and failures -of the ongoing process of this new concept. Chapter seven deals with solution to some of the failures examined and offers two new ecumenical concepts: "differentiate consensus" and "differentiated participation." Finally, the eighth chapter provides a summary and a final word on the topic. Acknowledging the constant growth in understanding the concept of reception, Rusch provides a major treatise on the topic with Ecumenical Reception but leaves the door open for a constant renewal of understanding for the future.
In 1988 William Rusch wrote a book tracing the development of the idea of reception up to that time. During the intervening years, both reflection on reception and the experience of attempting to engage in it have progressed considerably.
Rusch begins with a bird's-eye view of the term reception across several disciplines ? law, philosophy, literary criticism ? before homing in on its theological import. He traces its use as a term and as a practice from the New Testament up to the twentieth century, painting a picture of a dynamic process that fosters unity and diversity among churches and spiritual communities. Finally, he examines the new chapter in the history of reception due to the establishment of the ecumenical movement, and considers what will be necessary for it to continue to move the church forward.
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