Dr. Dagmar Heller Emphasized Baptism as Bond of Unity

On April 9 DLMPES’ students took part in the online lecture with Dr. Dagmar Heller. She is a theologian of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), professor at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey and member of the Faith and Order Commission at the World Council of Churches. Dr. Dagmar came to Ukraine to visit the Institute of Ecumenical Studies and to have lectures for its students.

At her online lecture Dr. Dagmar indicated that sacrament of baptism played its fundamental role in understanding of Christian unity. She also told about different theological approaches to the understanding of baptism. One could make an accent at the importance of the individual confession of the faith during the baptism and in such case the baptism could be valid only when it is performed to the adult and not to the infants. Another theological opinion stresses the importance of the liturgical and confessional aspects of baptism, which is performed only within and for a specific community or Church. Then for such Christians the evidence of the validity of baptism of other confession could be questionable. Despite of the diversity of the theological opinions concerning the baptism Dr. Dagmar believes that most theologians could find common basis which could allow to proceed in recognition of the baptism as a sacrament among different Christian Confessions.

Dr. Dagmar Heller indicated a number of ecumenical initiatives in Germany in 1998 and in 2007. There were signed several important documents regarding recognition of the baptism among Christians of main denominations of the country. This positive experience should be shared in other countries as well.

Dr. Heller has recently published her book dedicated to a theme of baptism and its ecumenical perspective titled “Baptized into Christ. A guide to the Ecumenical Discussion on Baptism.”