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Churches and moral discernment

WCC s2

World Council of Churches webinar series 

The final webinar, ”Moral Discernment: A Tool to Explore Common Ground and Disagreement,” will be held 15 June. Based on the study document “Churches and Moral Discernment: Facilitating Dialogue to Build Koinonia,” the webinar will harvest the fruits of the study process on moral discernment which began in 2015. In its analysis, the study document describes patterns in the complex negotiations between continuity and change as churches respond to moral challenges. At its core, the study document invites the churches to more deeply understand the significance of “the conscience of the church” in moral discernment processes and points to its ecumenical potential. The document offers a tool to analyse core elements in the conscience of the church that shape moral discernment. 

Session three

”Moral Discernment: A Tool to Explore Common Ground and Disagreement,”

The final webinar in the  Moral Discernment Webinar series

When: Tuesday 15 June 2021 2:00pm (ZURICH) 10:00PM (Syd, Melb, Can) 9:30 PM (Adl, Darwin) 8:00 PM (Perth)

Location: Online-By registration only

Register/Learn more: Online at 

Contact E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Previous webinars in the series:

Session one 

Moral Discernment - What Can We Learn from Other Traditions? 

29 April 2021 

The first webinar, “Moral discernment – What can we learn from other traditions?”  took place on 29 April, and was based on the publication “Churches and Moral Discernment. Volume 1: Learning from Traditions.” The document provides self-descriptions on how 14 different church traditions engage in moral discernment processes. Each one reflects on the sources they use, how these sources interplay with each other and who actually participates in the process.

Watch the first webinar: Webinar: Moral discernment – What can we learn from other traditions? 

Read more: Church divisions over moral issues can be bridged with fruitful dialogue, webinar shows

Session two 

Change in Moral Teaching - Exploring Continuity and Discontinuity

27 May 2021 

The second webinar was held on 27 May. It was entitled “Change in Moral Teaching – Exploring Continuity and Discontinuity,” and examined concrete historic examples where churches have modified or changed their understanding of a specific moral issue. Participants used “Churches and Moral Discernment. Volume 2: Learning from History,” a publication in which expert historians, theologians, and ethicists examine the occasions for and the processes of change within traditions.

Prof. Dr Myriam Wijlens, University of Erfurt (Germany), who moderated the webinar, invited Rev. Dr Morag Logan, Melbourne (Australia), to explain how the topics were selected. Logan said:

“We wanted to look into historical examples that help us to study the ways in which the sources for moral discernment in the churches and the respective procedures play a role in arriving at different conclusions. We wanted to understand how change and continuity relate.”

In recent times, churches face tensions with regard to ethical questions. This is of course not new. History testifies to how in the history of Christianity disputes over moral questions caused changes, leading at times to division, whereas at other times such divisions could be prevented.

Watch the second webinar: Change in Moral Teaching - Exploring Continuity and Discontinuity

Read more: How do churches change moral teaching? Webinar explores historic examples 







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