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Public Lecture: Prof Paul D. Murray



“The essential principle behind Receptive Ecumenism is that the primary ecumenical responsibility is to ask not “What do the other traditions first need to learn from us?” but “What do we need to learn from them?” The assumption is that if all were asking this question seriously and acting upon it then all would be moving in ways that would both deepen our authentic respective identities and draw us into more intimate relationship.” 


Some key elements of dialogue based on Receptive Ecumenism are:

  • To recognize that in becoming all that we are called to be, we must own the responsibility that we can only change ourselves rather than others, that we are being resourced for this, and that this task takes time.
  • To learn from and across our denominational differences in a mutually enriching way that fosters growth within traditions by finding the beauty of another tradition’s focus.
  • To summon churches to return to their core callings in fresh ways that appropriately cohere with the form and patterns of received tradition.
  • To call churches to grow visibly together in structural and sacramental unity with the Triune God. 



Wednesday, 13 Jan 2016, 19:00 
St Augustine's Auditorium
53 Ley Road, Victory Park, JHB
*** Free of charge, although a cash donation
     to St Augustine would be appreciated

Professor Paul D. Murray is a lay Roman Catholic systematic theologian in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University. He is a regular participant in the annual conferences of the Society for the Study of Theology (Treasurer 2003-2005) and the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain (President 2012-2014) and an occasional participant in the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion. From 2006 - 2011 he served on the Editorial Board of Concilium International. In 2011 he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to the third phase of work of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) and in 2012 as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Paul Murray has also seen the need for practical interaction on the ecumenical scene: and so he has for some time been involved in a multi-year research project in Receptive Ecumenism and the Local Church involving the nine major Christian denominational groupings to be found in the northeast of England.Professor Murray directs the series of research projects in Receptive Ecumenism at Durham which have been receiving international attention. Various international conferences have taken place bringing together some of the most significant people in the ecumenical movement from across various church traditions and from significant ecumenical bodies such as the WCC‟s Faith and Order Commission. 

Professor Murray’s current writing project which is provisionally entitled: Catholicism Transfigured: Conceiving Change in the Church. His wider teaching and research interests range from the interface between science and theology, political theology, the doctrine of God.