Ecumenism (noun) refers to a movement or effort promoting unity among Christian churches or denominations. In a more general sense, it may also refer to movements promoting worldwide unity among the various religions through greater cooperation and improved understanding. The idea is normally expressed in its adjective form, ecumenical, in terms such as "ecumenical thinking," "ecumenical activities," or "the ecumenical movement."

In a special sense it is used of the early church councils, terming them as Ecumenical councils, because they were recognized and adopted by the early church at large.

Critics of the "modern ecumenical movement" see it as largely giving up on the issue of truth and theological doctrine. It concentrates on getting everyone together outwardly, under compromise formulas like Evangelicals and Catholics Together, the recent Lutheran-Vatican Joint Declaration on Justification, and ecumenical activities such as found in Promise Keepers.

See also