Thinking Anglicans

weekend godslots

Traditional religious values are emphasized in this week’s contributions.

In The Times Geoffrey Rowell writes Lent is a good time to celebrate the old-fashioned virtue of courtesy.

Alison Leonard writes for Face to Faith in the Guardian that the Quaker approach of open dialogue could help to improve the relationship between faiths.

And the Telegraph’s Christopher Howse writes about The view from Wittenham Clumps.

The Times also carries an extract from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2006: Forgiveness in a culture stripped of grace by Miroslav Volf director of the Yale Centre for Faith and Culture.

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Christopher Calderhead
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Christopher Calderhead

I am profoundly disturbed by the extract of Miroslav Volf’s book in the Times. It’s only an extract, so by nature it’s incomplete. But I find Volf’s Christian response wholly inadequate. I would hate to think that this woman would read the book and see how her situation is examined by Volf. After letting her tell her story, he goes on to say, “Set aside for a moment the fact that the woman was a Muslim.” That’s a big setting aside… and it gets worse when he starts to say that the answer to her anger and humiliation is Christ.… Read more »

L. Ryan
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L. Ryan

I generally don’t judge a book on just an excerpt, but I may just do that in the case of this one. I have the same reactions as Christopher. The excerpt seems to lack compassion, empathy and ecumenical spirit.

If this excerpt is an example of the whole, I wonder if the Archbishop couldn’t have found a better book to recommend?

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

Volf’s response is more than “inadequate” or even preposterous: it demonstrates blank incomprehension of the scenario he describes, and it is therefore dangerous as a voice claiming to be representative of Christianity.

Surely the only proper Christian response is to call for justice for this violated woman, and for all within her community who were treated so barbarically: and to implement practical programmes of aid and restoration for shattered lives and cultures. To call for their conversion adds only grave insult to terrible injuries already sustained.