Professor Curtis W. Freeman , director of the Baptist House of Studies and a research professor of theology at Duke Divinity School, will participate in the final round of discussions between the Baptist World Alliance  (BWA) and the Vatican Dec. 12-18 in Oxford, England.
The goal of the talks between BWA and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church  has been to increase mutual understanding, appreciation, and Christian charity toward each other; and to encourage collaborative action on ethical issues, including justice, peace, and the sanctity of life.
The discussions began in 2006 on the overall theme, “The Word of God in the Life of the Church: Scripture, Tradition and Koinonia,” and have continued each year. Participants explored the common ground in biblical teaching, apostolic faith, and practical Christian living between Baptists and Catholics, and also examines areas that divide the two Christian traditions.
The 2010 gathering, co-hosted by Regent’s Park College (Baptist) and St. Benet’s Hall (Benedictine) at the University of Oxford , will be devoted to preparation of a final report that will be published. This is the second series of talks between the BWA and the Vatican; the first occurred between 1984 and 1988 and was followed by the publication of Summons to Witness to Christ in Today’s World in 1990.
The previous discussions in this second series were held in:
- 2006 at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala., and specifically focused on “The Authority of Christian Scripture and Tradition”
- 2007 at the International House Paulus VI in Rome, Italy, on “Baptism and the Lord’s Supper/Eucharist as Visible Word of God in the Koinonia of the Church”
- 2008 at the Baptist House of Studies at Duke Divinity School on “Mary in the Communion of the Church”
- 2009 in Rome on “Oversight and Primacy in the Ministry of the Church.”