3. Religious League of Humanity and Universal Protestant Senate: Rudolf Otto’s Interreligious Critique of Nathan Söderblom and the Ecumenical Movement

The Holy in a Pluralistic World - Rudolf Otto's Legacy in the 21st Century - Ulrich Rosenhagen

Ulrich Rosenhagen [+-]
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ulrich Rosenhagen is Director of the Center for Religion and Global Citizenry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg in 2012 and is author of Brudermord, Freiheitsdrang, Weltenrichter: Religiöse Kommunikation und öffentliche Theologie in der amerikanischen Revolutionsepoche (De Gruyter, 2015). He edited Nostra Aetate and the Future of Interreligious Dialogue with Charles Cohen and Paul Knitter (Orbis, 2017). He has written in academic and non-academic journals on Jewish-Christian relations, Social Protestantism, and interreligious dialogue. His main interests are interreligious literacy, religion and social justice, and the work of Rudolf Otto.

Description

A key development in early 20th century Protestantism was the ecumenical movement, combining missionary impulses, a striving for international peace, and interdenominational efforts towards social justice and welfare. Otto reflected on the ecumenical movement’s reach and structure especially in his correspondence with the Swedish archbishop Nathan Söderblom, one of its early, towering figures. Because of the interreligious encounters during his first world journey, Otto considered the ecumenical movement too limited and exclusive. In response, he created the Religious League of Humanity, an interreligious organization that was meant to morally complement the sprouting League of Nations. And he suggested a unique approach that Protestantism, Anglicanism, and Eastern-Orthodoxy ought to be three distinct pillars of the movement’s foundation. Otto intended to collaborate with Söderblom, but in the end failed in his overtures to the Swedish archbishop who neither shared Otto’s approach nor imagination.

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Citation

Rosenhagen, Ulrich. 3. Religious League of Humanity and Universal Protestant Senate: Rudolf Otto’s Interreligious Critique of Nathan Söderblom and the Ecumenical Movement. The Holy in a Pluralistic World - Rudolf Otto's Legacy in the 21st Century. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Jun 2022. ISBN 9781781794906. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30386. Date accessed: 07 Dec 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30386. Jun 2022

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