New book takes ecumenical approach to evangelization


By Laura Ieraci

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars, representing different church traditions, reflect on the future of Christianity and evangelization in Europe in a new book, titled “Sharing Good News: Handbook on Evangelism in Europe.”

The book was launched at the Ecumenical Centre of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva in early February.

According to a WCC press release, the book witnesses to a “renewed interest in evangelism within the ecumenical movement.”

The book is edited by Gerrit Noort, Kyriaki Avtzi and Stefan Paas; it is published by the WCC.

Noort articulates the purpose and urgency of the book project in the preface: “What it means to share Good News — within our radically changing denominational and religious European landscape — is a crucial question that requires a defined answer.”

The book’s 16 contributors include Protestant church ministers, Orthodox clergy, lay church leaders, as well as young and seasoned academics.

Donna Orsuto, director of The Lay Centre and a professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University, contributed two chapters that offer a Roman Catholic perspective on the topic.

The chapters she authored include, “New Paths of Evangelization in Roman Catholic Theology” and “The Community of Sant’Egidio in Rome: A Case Study from Italy.”

Book discussion on “Sharing Good News” © Ivars Kupcis/WCC (taken from

Other contributors include Orthodox Russian Father Vladimir Federov, a professor at the Russian Christian Academy for Humanities in St. Petersburg and director of the Orthodox Institute for Missiology and Ecumenism; Dimitra Koukoura, a professor of homiletics at the School of Theology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece; Wonsuk Ma, a Korean Assemblies of God minister and executive director of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies in Oxford; and Francis Brienen, deputy general secretary of the United Reformed Church in the United Kingdom.

According to a WCC statement, the book offers readers a “contemporary” and “complete overview” of current issues regarding evangelization in Europe “in a systematic and ecumenical framework” that responds to the need “for new evangelistic paradigms relevant to the secular, multicultural and multi-religious contexts of our times.”

Click here to read a sample chapter and to learn more about the book’s contributors:


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