Harding Meyer, a leading figure in the ecumenical movement of the past fifty years, passed away in December 2018. He had a decisive influence on the international Lutheran-Catholic dialogue, and many methodological approaches of contemporary ecumenism can be traced back to him, such as reconciled diversity, differentiating consensus, and so on.
In order to continue to promote his ecumenical approaches, Harding Meyer’s widow Dagmar zur Nedden in collaboration with the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg has sponsored the Harding Meyer Prize in Ecumenism. The prize is to be awarded every two years and has a value of 3000 EUR. For the 2020 prize, ten outstanding works were submitted by applicants from different countries and different Christian traditions. Three of them each received a prize of 3000 EUR. These three works are important contributions to Catholic-Lutheran dialogue as well as to intra-Protestant dialogue, continuing Harding Meyer’s methodological approaches.
The work of Mennonite theologian Anne Cathy Graber (France), entitled: Marie. Une lecture comparée de Redemptoris Mater (Johannes Paul II) et du Commentaire du Magnificat (Luther) (Mary: A Study Comparing John Paul II’s Redemptoris Mater and Luther’s Commentary on the Magnificat in Light of Ecumenical Dialogues) (2017), draws on Harding Meyer’s methodological approaches, explaining that in many traditionally controversial questions of Mariology there is a differentiating consensus, even if some areas still need further clarification.
The work of the German Protestant theologian Jan Gross, Pluralität als Herausforderung. Die Leuenberger Konkordie als Vermittlungsmodell reformatorischer Kirchen in Europa (Plurality as a Challenge: The Leuenberg Agreement as a Mediation Model for Reformation Churches in Europe) (2018), is dedicated to the Lutheran-Reformed dialogue in Europe. Gross shows how Harding Meyer’s approaches not only marked the emergence of the Leuenberg Agreement; they also shaped the realization of church fellowship in the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE).
The work of the Roman Catholic theologian Jakob Karl Rinderknecht (USA), Mapping the Differentiated Consensus of the Joint Declaration (2016), offers a differentiating analysis of the Joint Declaration and the controversy it triggered. Harding Meyer was the author of the first draft of the Joint Declaration. In this work, the method of differentiating consensus is explained and further developed in terms of language theory.
The Harding Meyer Prize in Ecumenism is normally awarded during the international summer seminar organized by the Institute for Ecumenical Research each year. Due to the current pandemic, the award ceremony will take place during the Summer Seminar in 2022.
The next call for applications for the award will be published in summer 2021 (application from September 1, 2021, until February 15, 2022). Information and applications should be sent to: Institute for Ecumenical Research, 8 rue Gustave-Klotz, F 67000 Strasbourg (firstname.lastname@example.org; keyword: Harding Meyer Prize in Ecumenism).