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An Intriguing Ecumenical Dialogue: Lutheran-Orthodox Encounters in Finland

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Abstract Finland is seen as a model country for ecumenism. For many years the country was almost monolithic Lutheran, but today Lutheranism is no longer a state religion. Yet, certain state-church structures still exist in this modern welfare state. Religiously Finland is characterized by strong secularization as well as by privatized faith. Since the 1960s minority churches came more to the forefront, in particular the Finnish Orthodox Church whose impact exceeds its small quantity. The Lutheran majority Church strongly facilitated the ecumenical dialogue with Eastern Orthodoxy, initially in international and later on in national perspective. In the article the development of this attractive discourse is highlighted. It became an appealing process of mutual learning between Eastern and Western Christianity.

Affiliations: 1: Breda The Netherlands


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