A common symbol of ecumenism symbolises the Christian Church as a cross depicted as the mast on a boat at sea.[1]

The term "ecumenism" refers to efforts by Christians of different Church traditions to develop closer relationships and better understandings. The term is also often used to refer to efforts towards the visible and organic unity of different Christian denominations in some form.

The adjective ecumenical can also be applied to any interdenominational initiative that encourages greater cooperation among Christians and their churches, whether or not the specific aim of that effort is full, visible unity.

The terms ecumenism and ecumenical come from the Greek οἰκουμένη (oikoumene), which means "the whole inhabited world", and was historically used with specific reference to the Roman Empire.[2] The ecumenical vision comprises both the search for the visible unity of the Church (Ephesians 4:3) and the "whole inhabited earth" (Matthew 24:14) as the concern of all Christians.

In Christianity the qualification ecumenical is originally (and still) used in terms such as "ecumenical council" and "Ecumenical Patriarch" in the meaning of pertaining to the totality of the larger Church (such as the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church) rather than being restricted to one of its constituent local churches or dioceses. Used in this original sense, the term carries no connotation of re-uniting the historically separated Christian denominations, but presumes a unity of local congregations in a worldwide communion.

Purpose and goal of ecumenism

Historically, the word was originally used in the context of large ecumenical councils that were organized under the auspices of Roman Emperors to clarify matters of Christian theology and doctrine. These "Ecumenical Councils" brought together bishops from around the inhabited world (that is, οἰκουμένη) as they knew it at the time. There were a total of seven ecumenical councils accepted by both Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism held before the Great Schism. Thus, the modern meaning of the world ecumenical and ecumenism derives from this pre-modern sense of Christian unity, and the impulse to recreate this unity again.

There are a variety of different expectations of what that Christian unity looks like, how it is brought about, what ecumenical methods ought to be engaged, and what both short- and long-term objectives of the ecumenical movement should be. Ecumenism and nondenominational or post denominational movements are not necessarily the same thing.

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Ökumene (Religion)
العربية: مسكونية
asturianu: Ecumenismu
български: Икуменизъм
bosanski: Ekumenizam
català: Ecumenisme
čeština: Ekumenismus
Cymraeg: Eciwmeniaeth
dansk: Økumeni
eesti: Oikumeenia
Ελληνικά: Οικουμενισμός
español: Ecumenismo
Esperanto: Ekumenismo
euskara: Ekumenismo
français: Œcuménisme
hrvatski: Ekumenizam
Bahasa Indonesia: Ekumenisme
interlingua: Ecumenismo
italiano: Ecumenismo
ქართული: ეკუმენიზმი
қазақша: Экуменизм
Kiswahili: Ekumeni
Latina: Oecumenismus
latviešu: Ekumenisms
lietuvių: Ekumenizmas
Lingua Franca Nova: Cristianisme nonramal
magyar: Ökumenizmus
Nederlands: Oecumene
norsk: Økumenikk
norsk nynorsk: Økumenikk
Piemontèis: Ecumenism
polski: Ekumenizm
português: Ecumenismo
română: Ecumenism
русский: Экуменизм
Scots: Ecumenism
shqip: Ekumenizmi
Simple English: Ecumenism
slovenčina: Ekumenizmus
slovenščina: Ekumensko gibanje
српски / srpski: Екуменизам
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Ekumenizam
suomi: Ekumenia
svenska: Ekumenik
Türkçe: Ekümeniklik
українська: Екуменізм
Tiếng Việt: Phong trào Đại kết