Lund Conference

1952. Conference of the “Faith and Order” commission of the World Council of Churches,* held at Lund, Sweden. There were 225 delegates from 114 churches; Roman Catholic observers were present. Documents issued following the 1937 Edinburgh Faith and Order conference formed the basis for study. Doctrinal differences of the churches were listed under the following heads: definition and limits of the church; church continuity and unity; the goal of the reunion movement; the number and nature of the sacraments and their relation to church membership; Scripture and tradition; priesthood and sacrifice. After stating the diverse views on these topics, the conference concluded that “comparative ecclesiology” (i.e., comparing and contrasting different convictions about the church) had been pursued to the limits and offered no prospect of reconciliation. “We need, therefore, to penetrate behind our divisions to a deeper and richer understanding of the mystery of the God-given union of Christ with His Church.” The conference selected four major points for study for at least ten years: union of Christ and the church; tradition and traditions; ways of worship; institutionalism (the church as a sociological entity with its laws and customs).

See O.S. Tomkins (ed.), The Third World Conference on Faith and Order, Lund, 1952 (1953).