Professor Tom Greggs, Chair of Historical and Doctrinal Theology, has been appointed to the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches (WCC).
The purpose of the Commission’s theological studies is: “to serve the churches as they call one another to visible unity in one faith and in one eucharistic fellowship…” As a think tank constituted by official representatives of churches belonging to the main historical streams of Christianity, including the Roman Catholic Church, it is a unique multilateral, global forum of ecumenical theology.
The commission comprises just 49 commissioners, drawn from 33 countries and five continents, and will meet every other year until the next assembly of the WCC (probably in 2021). Representing the Methodist Church, Professor Greggs will hold his elected position for 7 years.
Professor Greggs joined the University of Aberdeen in 2011 from the University of Chester, where he was Professor of Systematic Theology. He has published widely on central doctrinal themes and the theologies of Barth, Bonhoeffer and Origen, including Theology against Religion: Constructive Dialogues with Bonhoeffer and Barth (T&T Clark, 2011) and Barth, Origen, and Universal Salvation: Restoring Particularity (OUP, 2009). He formerly served as Secretary of the Society for the Study of Theology and as co-chair of the Scriptural Reasoning panel at the American Academy of Religion.
The roots of the Faith and Order movement reach back to 1910, when the General Convention of the Episcopal Church USA called for a world conference “for the consideration of questions touching Faith and Order”, i.e. questions of doctrine (Faith) and questions related to the ministerial structure of the Church (Order). Following two world conferences in 1927 and 1937, the movement became the Commission on Faith and Order when the World Council of Churches was finally established in 1948.