Duke Divinity School co-sponsored an ecumenical conference on Christian unity, which took place Nov. 3–4 in Bogotá, Colombia, and addressed the theme “Called to Unity so that the World May Believe (John 17:21), Gathering Together on the Way.”
Professor of Theology Peter Casarella attended the Continental Ecumenical Congress 2022 in person and gave a closing address, “New Perspectives and Horizon on the Path to Unity.” Dean Edgardo Colón-Emeric sent a video greeting to the conference, which was held mostly online, and instructors Dr. Alberto LaRosa Rojas and Dr. Marco Strona from the Duke Divinity Hispanic House of Studies each gave online testimonies about their ecumenical teaching experiences at the school.
Conference participants hailed from across Latin America and represented diverse denominations brought together by a vision of Christian unity based on shared practices of prayer, hospitality, communion, fraternity, and respect. The event was co-sponsored by the Latin American Bishops’ Conferences (CELAM) and twelve other organizations in addition to Duke Divinity School.
The conference is part of a long tradition of ecumenical dialogue at Duke Divinity School. Dean Colón-Emeric recently served as the Methodist co-chair of the Methodist-Roman Catholic International Commission and met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, along with the Rev. Dr. Jung Choi, senior director of Wesleyan Formation initiatives. Dean Robert Earl Cushman (1958–1971) was the official Methodist observer at the Second Vatican Council; and the late Geoffrey Wainwright, Robert Earl Cushman Professor Emeritus of Christian Theology, met with Pope Benedict XVI on a number of occasions in his capacity as Methodist co-chair of the Methodist-Catholic Dialogue from 1986 to 2011. In addition, the Rev. Dr. Curtis Freeman, research professor of theology and Baptist studies, served as chair of the Baptist delegation for an international dialogue between the Baptist World Alliance and the World Methodist Council from 2014 to 2018.