Brad Nassif and Tim Grass have been invited to guest-edit a special issue of an online academic journal, Religions (ISSN 2077-1444) on the theme ‘Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism: Contemporary Issues in Global Perspective’. Since the 1990s, the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Evangelical communities have had more direct contacts with each other than at any other time. This special issue of Religions will focus on current developments and issues relating to this encounter in specific regions of the world. This is an exciting opportunity for some creative and critical thinking, especially as the journal is freely accessible online, making it more useful as a resource.
With the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, Western missionaries began flooding the former Soviet Union, Romania and other Eastern European bloc countries. Partly in response to this, a new paradigm of ecumenical relations emerged among professional theologians in North America when the Society for the Study of Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism was formed in 1990. In 1997, the World Council of Churches (WCC) began its first series of international dialogues between the Orthodox and Evangelical communities. From 2000 to 2006, a second series of seminars took place. In 2001, the Evangelical Alliance in the UK published Evangelicalism and the Orthodox Church, by a group of Evangelical and Orthodox theologians whose goal was to lay a foundation for mutual understanding by comparing and contrasting Orthodox and Evangelical beliefs and practices.
Since then, the main exchange between Orthodox and Evangelicals has been through the formation of the Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative. This focuses on exploring how the two traditions can co-operate in the mission of God. But in spite of all the work that has been done, there remains scope for further scholarly investigation: for example, few regional studies have examined areas outside the English-speaking world, or the political and legal aspects of relationships between these traditions.
The editors aim to assemble a collection of scholarly essays (in English) on current issues and/or developments in Orthodox-Evangelical relations, at global and national levels, which will inform ongoing dialogue. Essays may consider:
- regional meetings or other encounters between these traditions
- the history of relationships between them
- current missiological challenges
- political and legal issues
- comparative theology
- or other topics.
They may focus on (but are not limited to) relations in Russia, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America, Australia and Greece. The journal’s website is at https://www.mdpi.com/journal/religions. If you are interested in writing an article, please contact Tim (email@example.com) and he will send you the response form, which should be returned by 31 August.