Thinking Anglicans

two Tablet lectures

Sacrifice, Law and the Catholic Faith: is secularity really the enemy? is the title of the 2006 Tablet Lecture by James Alison. You can read this lecture in full (except for the footnotes) here.

Another lecture sponsored by The Tablet nearly two years ago, on a related theme, was Rendering Unto Caesar – Catholicism, Politics, Law and Democracy by Aidan O’Neill QC. You can read that lecture in full here (and continued here), and also the other material preceding and following it, here.

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laurenceCheryl CloughPrior AelredDoug Taylor-Weissdrdanfee Recent comment authors
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drdanfee
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drdanfee

Thanks much for the James Alison talk. He is so clear and yet so well-read and all so exciting to read, all that the same time. I shall never be able to think or write like that, certainly. But everybody needs the better models they can find, whether or not they immediately stretch to live up to them. One of the wonderful things about Alison’s method is that he can draw upon what we tend to call both catholic and reform insights, all to renew our understandings of Spirit and Sign. Just love that passing remark: We are not a… Read more »

Pluralist
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I warmed to its moderation and even its confidence when considering secularity.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

James Alison’s piece is excellent. He faces up to “…the universality of the human tendency to scapegoat and sacrifice, text and law will merely create new forms of sacred as you impose them on others, and become much more tough, rigorous and likely to sacrifice those who fall foul of them.” He later comments that “…Faith is not a rival sacrificial system among many. It is the undoing from within of all sacrificial systems wherever they may be.” And these comments from his concluding paragraphy apply to much of the Anglican debate right now. “The normal results of the undoing… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Thanks too to Aidan O’Neill for working so hard in such meaty detail to present just how the current trends in Roman Catholic thinking are misconstruing things like democracy, secularity, and a few other things that are said to be beyond the Vatican’s pale.

Doug Taylor-Weiss
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I, too, found the phrase, “We are not a people of the book. We are a people of Spirit and Sign,” especially valuable. The reference is, of course, to Islam which connects Judaism, Christianity and itself together as “People of the Book.” The over-eagerness to adopt this designation so as to create a faux-brotherhood with Muslims is to be resisted. There is a very different dynamic with “the Book” in Christianity and Islam. Alison’s pock-marked barn is more like the Bible than Mohammed’s Quran.

Prior Aelred
Guest

Of course Islam refers to Jews & Christians as “People of the Book” not because Jews & Christians worship their Holy Book(s) but because our faiths are named (& acknowledged) in Islam’s Holy Book.

(But I assume you all knew that).

Alison is an excellent speaker as well as a writer — we have had him at our monastery — I highly recommend his work (although I do not concur with the necessity of submission to the Holy See).

Cheryl Clough
Guest

I have heard of Christians who do not read the Old Testament (which is different from the original Torah anyway). In fact this forum had a discussion a little while ago where some claimed that the OT was superceded by the NT. My rebuke at the time is that Jesus came from and needed to be consistent with the OT or he did not come from the biblical God. Mohammad was trying to get past a theological impasse in his time. A balancing counterweight was required to slow down Christianity’s violent extreme. An attempt to have a “fresh start” needed… Read more »

laurence
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laurence

Cheryl the link to the Tikkun site and the Network of spiritual Progressives is very interesting and encouraging to me in UK. I am in awe of all the energy and creativity expressed in america.

I particularly enjoyed ‘Abraham Joshua Heschel: A Still Relevant Theological Voice’ and hope others here,may get a chance to read it.
best wishes
laurence