The fruit of a friendship between a French priest and an English aristocrat, Cardinal Mercier's initial invitation in 1921 to a group of thinkers from both communions led to several rounds of discussion focused on issues that have long divided Catholics and Anglicans.
Since 2013, an informal and international group of Anglican and Catholic friends, known as the Malines Conversations Group, has been meeting annually for discussion and fellowship.
This volume represents the fruit of some of these conversations. The informal nature of the group allows for wide-ranging interrogation of diverse topics. The discussions acted as a kind of theological laboratory, enabling us to explore afresh some of the issues at stake both between and within our churches.
Interspersed throughout are very short reflections from other theologians and Church leaders who have participated in the conversations as guests over the last decade.
In the words of Rowan Williams' epilogue, the hope and prayer of the contributors is that 'this celebration and exploration of the heritage of Malines [might] give us again the grace of being surprised by the gift of Catholic communion.'