Timothy T. N. Lim, Ph.D., is Visiting Lecturer at London School of Theology, Research Tutor at King’s Evangelical Divinity School, and an ordained Minister with Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He has published peer-reviewed articles on ecclesiology, ecumenism, evangelicalism, and interdisciplinary theology.
Expected readers are philosophers, ecumenists, theologians, ecclesiastical/church leaders, and students interested in the relationship between churches/communions, scholars of recognition in the human sciences: philosophy, psychology, and political studies.
"Dr Timothy Lim sheds some light on that seemingly immovable object to deeper ecclesial recognition, the lack of reception of ecumenical dialogue, by his extensive illumination of the ‘non-theological factors [that] impact the churches’ ecumenical recognition of each other.’ Dr Lim examines philosophical recognition theory, group social psychology and political recognition theory to analyse the non-theological impasses confronting the whole ecumenical movement. The idea that traditional convergence texts may serve, at least at some point in the process, to entrench existing positions vis-a-vis the ‘other’ potentially alters the future course of how bilateral dialogue is conducted."
— Rev. Dr. Trevor Hoggard, Director English-speaking Ministries, Methodist Church of New Zealand.
"At a time when the ecumenical movement is at a crossroads—or even going backwards—Timothy Lim’s monograph represents a much-needed breath of fresh air intended to carry us forwards. Painting a clear picture of the nature of the unity we seek and the road traveled thus far, Lim proposes an interdisciplinary turn to the ecumenical process by making use of a broad range of recognition theories from various academic disciplines. Engaging important theological, socio-political, and psychological resources, Lim masterfully argues for the viability of an interdisciplinary approach to ecumenical recognition within communities, among churches, and in their common pastoral mission. This volume represents a masterful contribution to the ecumenical movement."
— Professor Radu Bordeianu, Duquesne University.
"Timothy Lim issues a bold challenge to the churches: to get serious about visible unity. His interdisciplinary approach exposes the roots of the churches’ resistance to taking the final steps toward full recognition of one another. The result is a provocative call to Christians to re-examine not only their doctrines, but everything that keeps “us” from “them.” This book makes an important contribution to ecumenical ecclesiology."
— Professor Sandra Beardsall, St Andrew’s College, Canada.
"I find Dr. Lim's work a solid and necessary contribution to ecumenical work around the world. Mutual recognition is the next step to helping the body of Christ heal and see in one another the common ground not only as fellow Christians but as legitimate ecclesial bodies with the same authority. Without it, one might wonder what direction ecumenical work might take. As someone who has worked as an ecumenical officer and as a co-pastor of an ecumenical community I am acutely aware of the need to implement Dr. Lim's finding in ecumenical activity. Additionally, as a psychologist, I appreciate Dr. Lim's use of psychological research as part of understanding how mutual recognition can move forward."
— Professor Dominick D. Hanckle, Regent University.
“Provocative ideas with interesting implications. Connecting the social understanding of what it means to have recognition, the socio-political implications of recognition and contemporary ecumenical theology raises substantive issues for ecclesiology and the ecumenical movement.”
— Rev. Dr. Michael H. Montgomery, Chicago Theological Seminary.
“Ecclesial recognition is not a simple process. Dr. Timothy Teck Ngern Lim explores the issue in a wide-ranging fashion, showing superb command of his intellectual resources. It would be my hope that those involved in ecumenical endeavors will draw insight and support from his work.”
— Professor Paul Lakeland, Fairfield University.
“Lim’s ground-breaking book provides a useful guide through the maze of paradigms for ecumenical convergence as well as a bold constructive synthesis of Congar’s vision of God’s gift of unity and a socio-political paradigm for its human outworking….a timely help for the churches as they remember their connections with the Western ecclesial divisions of the sixteenth century.”
— Rev. Dr. Steven R. Harmon, Garder-Webb University School of Divinity.
Table of contents
Preface and Acknowledgements
1 Ecumenism and Ecclesial Recognition: An Evaluation
1.1 Problem: The Ecumenical Impasse & Ecclesial Recognition after a Century
1.2 Ecumenical Recognition & Reception: Definition, Problem, and Proposal
Theological Criteria for Recognition, Reception, and Their Limits
Ecclesial Recognition and Reception: Non-Theological Factors
1.3 A Focused Reading of “Recognition” for Ecclesiology: A Proposal
Interdisciplinarity: A Proposal for Ecclesial Recognition
Interdisciplinarity and Ecclesiology
Thesis and Summary of Chapters
2 Philosophical Roots of Recognition: Reading Ricouer
2.1 The Groundwork of a Philosophy of Recognition
Why Philosophy of Recognition for Ecumenical Recognition?
Recognition’s Roots: Descartes, Kant, Bergson, and Hegel
Descartes and Kant
Bergson and Psychology of Recognition
Hegelian Mutual Recognition
2.2 Hegel’s Paradigm: A Literalist Reading of the ‘Lord-Bondsman’ Corpus
Self-Consciousness and the Ambiguity of Otherness
Consciousness of Otherness Amidst Unequal Recognition
The Struggle in the Exclusionary Phases of Recognition
The Lord-Bondsman Analogy in Hegelian Recognition
2.3 Recognition, Mis-recognition, and Reconciliation: Anticipating Later Developments
Review: Philosophy of Recognition
Struggle for Self-Identity: Recognition’s Intrinsic Challenge
Struggle for Relational Progress towards Recognition
Ethics of Recognitive Relationship
Philosophical Insights for Ecclesial Recognition
Overcoming Misrecognition: Social-Psychological Assistance
3 A Social Psychology Contribution to Social Recognition
3.1 The Groundwork of Social Recognition for Ecclesial Recognition
Defining Social Recognition
Social Psychology, Its Philosophical and Scientific Antecedents
Methodology: Social-Psychology for Ecclesial Recognition
3.2 A Social-Psychology of Social Recognition
Building Blocks of Social Recognition for Overcoming Misrecognition
Group Processes & Theories: Intra-Group and Inter-Group Dynamics
Group Social Identity Theory Processes
Other Pertinent Group Processes
Socially Shared Cognition and Consensus Development
Intergroup Relational Interventions
3.3 Intergroup Recognition and the Limits of Reciprocity: Anticipating Questions
Review: Fundamentals of Intergroup Recognition
Overcoming Limits of Reciprocity, Disrespect, and A-Reciprocity
4 Honneth’s Political-Ethical Praxes of Recognition
4.1 A Framework for the Politics of Recognition
Politics of Recognition: Identity, Power, Paradigms, States, and Stages
Political Theories of Recognition in Political Science
Recognition Issues in Political Philosophy and Theory
4.2 Axel Honneth’s Political Theory of Recognition in Select Oeuvre
Deepening Traectories: Disrespect
Three Patterns, Spheres, and Duties of Reciprocal Recognition
Three Types of Denial of Recognition
Misrecognition as Social Distortion and Causes
Insights for Ecclesial Recognition
Expanding to Politics: The I In We
Recognition, a Layered Social Reality of Justice
Recognition: Productive, Reproductive, and Gradual Expansion
Plurality: Recognition and the Dissolution of Social Morality
Diplomacy and the Politics of Recognition
Psychoanalytic Ramifications of Recognition
Insights for Ecclesial Recognition
Towards Mutuality in Honnethean Struggle for Recognition
The Fundamental Need for Recognition
Political Payoffs: Recognition and Power Dynamics
4.3 Politics of Overcoming Disrespect
Dialectics of Domination: Identity, Relationality, and Recognition
Ethics of Power: Rectification, Reconciliation, and Recognition
5 Interdisciplinarity in Ecclesial Recognition: Yves Congar’s Legacy as a Test-Case
5.1 An Application of Interdisciplinarity to Ecclesial Recognition
Congar’s Crises of Recognition
The Development of Ecumenical Thought in Congar
Congar’s Proposed Resolutions of the Crisis of Recognitions
5.2 Interdisciplinarity: Invigorations for Ecclesial Recognition
Philosophy of Recognition’s Struggle and Ecclesial Recognition
Orthodoxy and Catholic Relations
Group Social Psychology and Ecclesial Recognition
Catholic Unity: An Intragroup Reading
Ecumenical Disunity: An Intergroup Protestant-Catholic Reading
Toward Unity: An Intergroup Interventional Application
Politics of Recognition and Ecclesial Recognition
Politics and Ecclesial Recognition
Political Themes and Ecclesial Recognition
Ecclesial Politics and Diplomacy
Limits of the Model
Summary of Chapters
6 Concluding Postscript: Towards a Productive Ecumenism
6.1 Reproductive and Productive Ecumenism
Furthering Honneth’s Reproductive and Productive Paradigms
6.2 Intra-communion Ecumenicity
Brethren and Mennonite Traditions
Pentecostal and Charismatic Renewal Movements
Wesleyans, Methodists, and Uniting Churches
6.3 Intra-christian and Inter-communion Relations
Quincentenary of the Protestant Reformation
Churches’ Bi-lateral and Multilateral Developments
6.4 .Pastoral and Ministerial Implications