Many of the questions individual churches are asking today about their relationship to one another and the goal of unity among them have a very long history. This book tells the story of the way these questions have arisen and discusses why they can be so hard to answer in modern times. The author asks what we mean by "a church" and how different Christian bodies have understood the way "a church" is related to "the Church." The concept of "communion" is discussed, which looks ecumenically hopeful as a guide to the way forward.
"...an important work. Evan's thorough knowledge of history and her familiarity with the present ecumenical scene combine to make an invaluable contribution to ecumenical ecclesiology." Theological Studies "...Evans has provided a strikingly full survey of many of the central issues in ecumenical ecclesiology." Modern Theology "...a formidable work. Evans is widely read, ranging back and forth from Augustine to the World Council and John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger to the Rastafarians...a product of impeccable and prodigious scholarship, and scrupulously impartial." Donald Nugent, Church History "This is a timely book that is full of fascinating historical data and thought-provoking insights." Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., Journal of Ecumenical Studies "I strongly recommend this book as nearly indispensable for anyone doing ecumenical studies in general or ecclesiology in particular...the book amply displays the historical acumen of its author and her remarkable control of so much of the ecumenical literature...This book is a significant contribution to the task of first identifying and then confronting that untidiness and provisionality." Richard P. McBrien, The Journal of Religion