Theologian-bioethicist J. Robert Nelson dies

A leading ecumenist
John Robert Nelson, a pioneering proponent of church unity who was later prominent for his theological contributions to biomedical ethics, died July 6 at a Houston hospital of cancer and complications. He was 84.

Nelson, a Methodist, should be listed among the top U.S. ecumenists of the last half-century, said Martin E. Marty, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago. After being present at the first World Council of Churches General Assembly in 1948 and studying theology in Europe, Nelson became the program executive for the WCC’s Faith and Order Commission in 1953 and articulated the ecumenical vision in several books.


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