The Proto-Ecumenical Dialogue of Abba Mika’el, Martin Luther, and Philip Melanchthon

Webinar hosted by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University

November 18th from 20:00–21:30 MEZ (2:00-3:30pm EST)


The webinar will explore a remarkable dialogue between the Wittenberg Reformers, Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon, and Ethiopian Orthodox monk Abba Mika’el that took place in 1534. This early intercultural encounter that has been largely neglected until now should be regarded not only as the starting point of the interaction between the Reformation and the multifaceted world of Orthodox Churches, but also the very first encounter of Protestantism with a non-European form of Christianity. Most importantly, the theological dialogue of Abba Mika’el, Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon resulted in a mutually shared conviction that despite some differences Orthodox Christians and proponents of the Wittenberg Reformation belong to the same one Church of Christ. Hence, this proto-ecumenical encounter has extraordinary significant implications for both our understanding of the Reformation’s relations with the wider world and the history of global Christianity in the Early Modern period.

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Presenter: Stanislau Paulau, Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz.

Moderator: David D. Daniels III, McCormick Theological Seminary.

Panelists: Dagmar Heller, Institute for Ecumenical Studies and Research, Bensheim. Solomon Gebreyes Beyene, Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian and Eritrean Studies, Hamburg. Tim Wengert, United Lutheran Seminary, Philadelphia.