Index > Conferences > Dicember 2001
Anna Marie Aagaard
Professor, Dr. Anna Marie Aagaard resides in Aarhus, Denmark, where she, till very recently, held a chair in systematic theology at the University of Aarhus. She has lectured widely throughout the Nordic countries and in the United States, most recently (2000) at the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia. In 1986 she was appointed the first Paul Wattson visiting professor of Ecumenics at The Catholic University in Washington DC. Her numerous articles and several books center on the third article of faith the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and ecclesiology. Among her most recent publications are "The Present Status of the Ecumenical Movement", pp. 61-78 in Lawrence S. Cunningham, (ed.), Ecumenism. Present Realities and Future Prospects (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1998); "The Orthodox Churches and the Ecumenical Movement", Ecumenical Review 51, 4 (1999) 340-350; "What Does This Look Like? On an Ecumenical Agenda for the 21st Century", Swedish Missiological Themes 88, 4 (2000) 561-576 and "Ecclesiology and Ethics", Studia Theologica 2/2001. Anna Marie Aagaard has served as a President of the World Council of Churches (1991-1998) and as a co-moderator of the Roman Catholic Church-World Council study process (1990's) on dialogue on potentially divisive ethical questions. She serves on the board of the theological institute Tantur, founded in Jerusalem as one of the tangible ecumenical results of Vatican II. She has been a member of the international Lutheran-Orthodox dialogue almost from its beginnings and she is currently involved in the attempts to stabilize the relations between the WCC and its Orthodox member churches.
In 1898, the Spirit of God inspired Sister Lurana White and Father Paul Wattson to establish a religious community to be called the Society of the Atonement.
The Founders had the vision of a religious congregation dedicated to the unity of Christians and to reconciliation in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. Since the Founders were Episcopalians, the roots of the Society were implanted in that ecclesial communion until 1909, the year in which the Friars and Sisters of the Atonement entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. This was the first time that a corporate reunion with Rome took place since the Reformation. Among the various activities of the Society of the Atonement, special mention needs to be made of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begun by Fr. Paul in 1908 and celebrated today throughout the world.
From the humble beginnings in an abandoned church, St. John's-in-the-Wilderness, in an area called Graymoor, (New York), the Society of the Atonement has dedicated its efforts for the unity of the Church and reconciliation in several countries: the United States, Canada, Japan, England, Ireland, Brazil and Italy. Yearly conferences honoring the memory of Fr. Paul Wattson were begun in 1974 at The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, then, in 1980, at the University of San Francisco. To these were added in 1995, the Paul Wattson Lectures at the Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax and in 1996 at the Toronto School of Theology. The Paul Wattson Lectures are given by international experts in the field of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue.
Since 1998, the Centro Pro Unione organizes lectures each year in December to honor Fr. Paul Wattson and Mother Lurana White, co-founders of the Society of the Atonement. Earlier lecturers were Enzo Bianchi, Founder and Prior of the Community of Bose, Sarah Anne Coakley (Harvard University) and Bruno Forte (Pontifical Theological Faculty - Naples).
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