Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture

Drop Shadow


Assisi, Italy

‘Where We Dwell in Common’

Pathways for Dialogue in the 21st Century

An Ecumenical Gathering organised by

The Ecclesiological Investigations International Research Network


April 17th – 20th, 2012 in Assisi, Italy

You are cordially invited to become involved in this large-scale international and ecumenical gathering exploring the theme of dialogue from the perspectives of the past, present and future. The overall aim is to discern new ways, means and methods of advancing the ecumenical cause in the wake of the ‘ecumenical winter’ and with renewed energy for a new century. It is intended to be not so much a conference, as the beginning of a process or series of ongoing processes. This gathering will seek to identify, share and shape, as well as to put into practice, productive pathways for dialogue in these times. It wishes to encourage ecumenical ‘thinking outside the box’ and to gather together a richly diverse array of voices in order to help make this happen.

We do not only wish to encourage innovation, but also to learn from the best of the past. Therefore, at this gathering, we will seek to revisit, learn from and renew and adapt some of the methodologies employed to great effect in ecumenical conversations in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as at such successful ecclesial gatherings as Vatican II. We will also seek to learn from more recent successful ecumenical ventures and different ways of approaching dialogue from both within and without the ecumenical movement. Where particular pathways for dialogue have proved innovative and successful, despite the challenges faced in ensuring genuine conversation takes place, we will seek to learn from these stories. In all, we hope to discuss, to enhance and to promote the ‘science of bridge-building’ for our contemporary communities and for their shared tomorrows.

The venue of Assisi has been chosen because of its long and instinctive association with openness, charity, dialogue, peace, harmony and communion – with the particular charisms of the orders founded by Francis and Clare alike having helped inspire countless ventures in promoting dialogue and openness amongst peoples. The Franciscan Domus Pacis will host the gathering.

We are seeking as wide a range of voices to be present as possible. In turn we are also seeking as wide a range of supporting institutions and organizations as possible.

We are also seeking the necessary sponsorship that will enable the event to take place in as well-organized and inclusive a fashion as possible as well as the funds required to enable participants from the different continents of the world to be present, alongside other delegates who would otherwise be unable to participate, including the emerging generation of scholars and church-people to be present and have their voices heard. We would be very happy also if you would encourage colleagues and friends to take part in this gathering as well.

Click here for further details

Click here for PDF of event and program outline

Ecclesiological Investigations:

Scholarship for the Church of Churches


Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture


Chichester University

Duke Divinity School


Georgetown University


Institut for Ecumenical and Interreligious  Studies Tübingen


The Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology (OxCEPT)

Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford


Pontifical Urbaniana University

Domus Pacis, Assisi,

Casa francescana di accoglienza