World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Resources / WCC Publications / The Challenge of Transformation: An Ecumenical Journey

The Challenge of Transformation: An Ecumenical Journey

In this book covering the time from when he joined the World Council of Churches in 1969 as a young theologian from Germany to his period as WCC general secretary from 1993 to 2003, Konrad Raiser presents a first-person account of the ecumenical movement from the decisive turning point at the WCC’s Uppsala assembly in 1968 through to the challenges it faces today.

Konrad Raiser

Translated by Stephen G. Brown

“Konrad Raiser here offers not just an invaluable personal history but also real insight into the ongoing dynamism, transformative challenges, and genuine promise of the ecumenical movement in an age of globalization.” —Rev. Dr Olav F. Tveit, WCC general secretary

Konrad Raiser’s vital and engaging memoir presents a first-person and deeply reflective account of ecumenical developments in recent decades: from the decisive turning point at the Uppsala assembly in 1968 through subsequent decades to now. He chronicles and assesses events that tested the identity and purpose of the WCC and the whole ecumenical movement and shows how a new paradigm of the WCC has emerged and developed. In Raiser’s leadership roles with the council, he wrestled with key concerns—about addressing violence, geopolitical change, the roles of women, Orthodox participation, relations with other Christian churches and other faiths—that remain at the heart of ecumenical work today.

Konrad Raiser, a theologian, pastor, and professor from Germany, served the World Council of Churches over four decades, culminating in his tenure as general secretary from 1993 to 2003. Among his many publications are Ecumenism in Transition (1991), To Be the Church (1997), For a Culture of Life (2002), and Religion—Power—Politics (2014). He lives in Berlin, Germany.


Specs: 256pp.; 6 x 9”; paper; perfect binding; 4-colour cover

Price : CHF 22.00; £15.00; €18.00; $22.00

ISBN : 978-2-8254-1697-6

Topic / Shelving : Christianity / Ecumenism

Rights : World, all languages except German


Click here to download the table of contents, preface and chapter 1(pdf)

Available in North America and worldwide: order from,
Available in the UK and Europe from WCC Publications: email orders to ; or order from,


Video recording of the book launch in Geneva, 5 February 2018:

If the embedded player is not displaying correctly for you, please click here to watch on the WCC YouTube channel.