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Stockholm Conference

An ecumenical gathering called the Universal Christian Conference on Life and Work which met in August 1925. Its moving spirit was Archbishop Söderblom.* Through World War I and afterward, Söderblom, a member of a neutral country, had sought to keep the ecumenical ideal alive. The conference dealt with the relationship between Christ and economics and industry, social and moral problems, and international relations and education. There were 600 delegates from thirty-seven countries, the latter figure surprisingly large since the war had left divisions which some thought could not be breached. There was some tension on the question of war guilt, but more concerning the question of whether the kingdom of God can or should be sought for here on earth. This was the first ecumenical conference when members were official delegates of churches and not just interested individuals. Particularly interesting was the presence of the Orthodox Church. Stockholm through its continuation committee may be seen as the initial step which led via Oxford* 1937 to the formation of the World Council of Churches* in 1948.