Thinking Anglicans

two interesting analyses

First, The Rev. Canon Benjamin Twinamaani of Uganda has written a very informative article, which is published by both Anglican Communion Institute and by Covenant.

It is titled How American Anglicans Think and Act: A Primer for the Global South.

Second, Andrew Goddard has published a new analysis The Anglican Communion – Mapping the Terrain which constitutes the November newsletter for Fulcrum.

It’s receiving a number of critical comments from American conservatives. See for example these three:

Stephen Noll says this.

Sarah Hey says this.

Leander Harding says this.

No doubt more to follow.

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Cheryl Va. Clough
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The author has gone to great depths to give a fair and reasoned discussion. The thyroid versus adrenal gland model is useful. He points out how things can happen in other dioceses without even a murmur, yet a singular act in the US can create pandemonium. Probably because the adrenal gland of many conservatives insists on a fight, even if that exhausts the whole body. He comments on the realization that no one in the US is above the law e.g. a sitting president going through an impeachment process. He wrote: “ As I watched all of the proceedings on… Read more »

Rev. Lois Keen
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Rev. Lois Keen

Well, I’ve been wondering where Benjamin Twinamaani is. We served together in Delaware (U.S.A.)from whence he received the title of Canon. (And I remember the driving ticket incident!)I was ordained priest in the cathedral in which we served together. It was Benjamin who ran through the halls to be the first to the sacristy to have my newly-ordained hands laid on his head in blessing. It was Benjamin who taught me the warrant for Uganda’s ordination of women before many others did so: that in his culture it is the women who are the bearers of the holy. It was… Read more »

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

Canon Twinamaami’s article is very interesting, especially when it says that a Ugandan bishop allowed polygamous marriages in church in his diocese without there being any outcry!

Andrew’s is full of his usual delight in classifying everything into -isms and sub-isms, but, just by addressing honestly and intelligently some of the expressions of the hyper-conservatives’ rhetoric, he seems to have provoked up their ire, which must be a work of supererogation.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

One one level Leander Harding may have a point. Goddard writes from an English perspective where there may be a fair few people in the middle. In the US, far less so.

But I think he is kidding himself if he thinks that a realignment would be only within the US. If it happens, then it will be global, splitting provinces apart.

I think that would be ultimately beneficial.

Pluralist
Guest

Roughly speaking I agree with the mapping, though the terms are a bit awkward – reassess, reassert (needs to be more obvious – but I would say that each should have four groups. The inclusivists are not one, as some are more Catholic and some Protestant in emphasis – emphasis on the diversity of the Communion and its constituent Churches and those who are primarily interested in Churches including liberal interpretations of beliefs. Therefore there will be those of the more Catholic side that will say yes to a Covenant, so long as it emphasises diversity and autonomy of the… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

re: Polygamous marriages. As you all probably are aware this issue has regularly come up — usually in the context of claims that some Anglican Bishops are polygamous. Despite repeated requests for names and details, to my knowledge no substantiating information has ever come to light. I agree with Fr Mark above that this reference is significant, if only because it is the first that I have seen that gives details of place and time and Bishops. But it raises two questions that I wonder if anyone knows the answer to: 1. Does it still go on with the blessing… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

I think the important point here, which there should be clarity about before anything else, is that there is an ecclesiastical quarrel. Now, that quarrel is not anything in it self “objective” or “neutral”, it is w i l l e d. No analysis should try to evade this point. No “solution” can. There is an ecclesiastical quarrel because some want Schism (preferably with some appearance of legality/justess/Righteousness). The quarrel has now been going on for 10 or 15 years, if not since the Ordination of women began. It will continue until WO is no longer an issue, either “naturally”… Read more »

C.B.
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C.B.

My read is that Sarah Hey doesn’t think Goddard is helpful because he identifies a split within the conservatives which likely will end up with a small group going the route of schism and the other the route of “collaboration.” In other words, there’s no longer a single front with which the progressives must contend – but a divided front that must contend with it’s many selves. I can see why she might not want anyone to know.

Riciah
Guest
Riciah

I think The Rev. Canon Twinamaani may be referring to Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo (I see his name also spelled Senyonjo, Senyono). Compare two quotes (from different perspectives but clearly talking about the same thing): “Bishop Senyono already had a reputation in Uganda as a radical bishop. In 1979 he argued that the Church should look again at its prohibition of polygamy, as a response to the urgent need to provide for widows in the aftermath of the tragedy of the Amin years.68 The fact that he also advocated for more positive understandings of Kiganda69 traditional religion, in which the old… Read more »

Pete
Guest
Pete

Margaret, I don’t know about bishops, but Lambeth 1988 passed Resolution 26 permitting inclusion of polygamists in the church . See here for the text. http://www.lambethconference.org/resolutions/downloads/1988.pdf

4 May 1535+
Guest
4 May 1535+

The Canon’s way of thinking brings to mind two further points. (1) In the US, if one refers to “The Queen,” the assumption is that one means Elizabeth II and not, say, Margrethe II. There’s a cultural bias toward the UK that isn’t there toward Denmark. But except in so far as there may be a specific treaty with one or the other, the UK doesn’t actually carry any more weight than Denmark, at that level of reliable law that the Canon refers to. Our reflexive sense that “Queen” = “nice lady with the corgis” is sentimental, but no more… Read more »

4 May 1535+
Guest
4 May 1535+

Sorry, in my previous post I used “ACC” when I meant “AC”–the Communion, rather than the Council.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

4th May: interesting point about the Queen. Perhaps, as well as being Head of the Commonwealth, HM should be Head of the Anglican Communion rather than the Archbishop, thus freeing him up to act appropriately as chief pastor to liberal English society.

Prior Aelred
Guest

4 May 1535+ on Sunday, 2 December 2007 at 4:13pm GMT — Good points — I have sometimes said that attitude of many in the ACC (conscious or otherwise) is it is some sort of continuation of Victoria’s Empire — consequently, TEC just doesn’t fit in properly! I do think an unconscious assumption very like this seems to underlie Canon Twinamaani’s essay (but see the comment of Rev. Lois Keen — much to ponder there!) Re: polygamy — no link (death right there, right) but over three years ago the BBC online had several comments about Gene Robinson from several… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Prior Aelred: good point about Empire and Communion. And the Con Evo churches in England are very much run by the kind of people whose grandfathers would have been missionaries/ agents of the Empire in its farther-flung outposts: hence their obsession about ecclesiastical links with Africa (and comparative disinterest in continental Europe).

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

In the 19th century Colonialism was a branch of Liberalism, just as in the 17th to 18th centuries Liberalism was a branch of Calvinism.

Mission on other Continents was an integral part of the Colonialist packet.

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Pete Thanks for the link to the Lambeth 1988 resolutions, but they do not really fit the situation at all. If you read Resolution 26, it is about people who convert to Christianity when they are already in a polygamous relationship not the blessing of polygamous relationships for people who are already Christians. Indeed the resolution specifically states that “This conference upholds monogamy as God’s plan …” and for any christians who do contract polygamous relationships it seeks a sharing of information to develop “the most appropriate way of disciplining and pastoring them …’ which is a world apart from… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

There is clearly a significant difference between the hardliners who inhabit blogs like Stand Firm, and those in the more moderate evangelical centre – notably their view as to whether this is a first-order issue or not. The problem is that despite the almost hysterical level of hyperbole on such blogs, they resolutely refuse to see themselves as most others, certainly in Britain , would view them, as fringe fundamentalists. As for polygamy, its another smokescreen. Stable Gay relationships should be accepted for their own qualities, which are akin to heterosexual coupled relationships of a permanent and committed nature, unlike… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“The problem is that despite the almost hysterical level of hyperbole on such blogs, they resolutely refuse to see themselves as most others, certainly in Britain , would view them, as fringe fundamentalists.” I’m trying to tease this out on another thread. Are they fringe or are they more and more mainstream? And if Cheryl is right numbers don’t matter because of the impact even a smallish group can have provided they’re determined enough. I’m always astonished at how little the “Anglican in the pews” i.e. my friends, knows or cares about all of this and how little they appreciate… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Yes, Merseymike, you’re right that polygamy and the gay issue are quite different ethically. But I suppose the interesting question here is, which issues are thought to be worth breaking communion over? Before the gay issue and women’s ordination, the last big doctrinal furore I remember in the C of E was David Jenkins’ appointment as Bishop of Durham. He was generally regarded by Conservative Evangelicals at the time as not a real Christian, yet I don’t remember this degree of hysteria. I am too young to remember the Honest to God controversy (or indeed Lux Mundi!), but wonder whether… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

I’ve got to agree with Margaret on the polygamy issue (I know , Margaret, I’m a bit shaken too:-)). My understanding is that the African economia on this is to accept those who are in polygamous marriages when they convert, since asking men to repudiate second, and more, wives would put these women and their children in severe hardship. One may not enter a polygamous marriage if one is already a Christian. If this isn’t the case, I stand to be corrected. That is quite different from “the gay issue”. All the same, it is a bit churlish for people… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

Canon Twinaami’s offering is interesting, and clearly offered in good faith. However, there are aspects of the American scene that he clearly did not understand, despite his experience in the United States. First, he seems to describe the context, both within and without the church, in which “laws are enforceable” as unique to the American scene, and (perhaps) compelling only for American Anglicans. However, this situation could be said safely, I think, to obtain for Anglicans in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom; and perhaps in other provinces. It is also worth noting that all of… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“… but wonder whether the conservative reaction was in any degree similar or not, and if not, why not? What has changed, and why?”

Three little words: The Age of Bush, Cheney and Rove. The new Political, Economic and Social Anarchism, benefitting from two generations passing since last time (we never learn, do we?)

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Hi Erika Your posting here reminds us how numbers can be important. There is a qualitative issue of whether aggression is acceptable. As posted elsewhere, it only took one to kill Abel. Proverbs 26:21 “As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.” Or to paraphrase other proverbs “Better to live on a corner of a roof than with a quarrelsome spouse, or be in the wilderness than in communion with quarrelsome priests.” Thus there is a qualitative issue that it is not appropriate to deny grace and deprive access to the… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

Fr Mark asks, “What has changed and why?”

What I have been told is that the Evangelicals are more powerful in the C of E than was once the case & are exercising that power (or attempting to).

Marshall Scott makes a good point — while civil corruption might be the norm in Africa, certainly one hopes that there are some places besides the USDA where the expectation is that the laws will be enforced regards of a dictator’s whim (although some of us in the States are crossing our fingers on this one …)

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

I really find Twinamaani’s essay stimulating. But I do think he gets a few angles pretty off-kilter. His take on civil rights digs into things as citizenship matters of equality, and rather misses the religious importance. Just one example: Many believers, Episcopalians included, became active in the USA Civil Rights Movement exemplified by Dr. MLK JR., and that experience – including being killed under suspicious circumstances in the Deep South during voter registration drives and the like – had tremendous mystical holiness impact. Suddenly as these things go, on a wide scale, being for the excluded neighbor was as holy… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Ford Elms said: “I’ve got to agree with Margaret on the polygamy issue (I know , Margaret, I’m a bit shaken too:-)).’ Actually Ford I am not in the least surprised that we agree. What has surprised me in the last few days has been what has been read into my posts. I have repeatedly stated that people are finding things in them that were not written there — but that has been dismissed as disingenuous. I have been very disappointed to discover the way people here interact with those who they perceive as the enemy. It would be an… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

RE the Mapping:

Honestly, I think that if there is a scheme Strongly against, Lightly against, Lightly for, Strongly for on homosexuality, there must also be the same 4 for ecclesiology – and corresponding criteria…

As is obvious, some like the Episcopal trappings of funny hats and Right Reverends without actually caring two pence about the Church as organization, or the Territorial issue of Dioceses from Nicea, being Congregationalists at heart.

And then there is the question: Is this important enough to break the church asunder?

As we know, anything that comes handy would meet that requirement, for some.

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

I have been very disappointed to discover the way people here interact with those who they perceive as the enemy. It would be an understatement to say that it has not been a pleasant experience. Such is life! (Margaret, 8.30 am., yesterday) Margaret bach Do you think you may have had a hand in this, in some way, yourself ? I know these things are very complex. Especially via this impersonal means of communication, with its limitations. I may have added to your woes, myself. Regretably. Perhaps a new start of some kind may be possible ? I am known… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Goran Koch-Swahne: “Three little words: The Age of Bush, Cheney and Rove. The new Political, Economic and Social Anarchism, benefitting from two generations passing since last time (we never learn, do we?)” Wasn’t there a junior minister in the Republic of Germany that likened Bush to Hitler? And this was before 9/11/Iraq/Iran. No, we never do learn. And we need to take our enemies seriously. Religious extremism is alive and well in the good ‘ole USA. I don’t think our friends on the other side of the pond realize how powerful the fundamentalist/”religious right” is over here. Somebody remarked about… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Margaret – its been a soft ride for you in comparison to how I was treated on some conservative sites!

mark
Guest
mark

Ford Elms said, “My understanding is that the African economia on this is to accept those who are in polygamous marriages when they convert, since asking men to repudiate second, and more, wives would put these women and their children in severe hardship.” Fair enough — this sounds like a charitable compromise. My question has always been how (before Lambeth) this compromise was arrived at. Did they check to make sure western Anglicans would not be offended? How did they determine this? Goran said, “Three little words: The Age of Bush, Cheney and Rove” to explain the strength of the… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Merseymike Just to remind you of WHY you were treated the way you were: “As a frequent visitor here and occasional poster, I often find myself quitting reading a thread of comments as soon as I see a MM post. It’s not that I have anything personal against him or his ideas, it’s just that his interjections usually mark the end of any useful comments about the original post and the comment thread, more often then not, gets side tracked into a discussion centered around his comments” I couldn’t agree more, and that’s why I just banned him. Spirited dissent… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Just to prove that I might be guilty of monopolising after all ….

Mark, you asked:
“Fair enough — this sounds like a charitable compromise. My question has always been how (before Lambeth) this compromise was arrived at. Did they check to make sure western Anglicans would not be offended? How did they determine this?”

What makes you think that this compromise was worked out before Lambeth — I got the impression that that was why there was a Lambeth decision, to reach a common view after discussing it with everyone? Why do you think otherwise?

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Mark wrote: “conservative episcopalians honestly have come to believe that the mainline TEC church down the road has incorporated Hindu, Muslim, astrological and God knows what else traditions into the BCP liturgy (as I believe the bishop of Rochester recently suggested) because they’ve heard so many horrified one-off reports.” Must be pretty horrible to feel what not being “out there” ready to get you. OMG! Killer tomatoes attack! But no, I wasn’t thinking of the web, the networking, but the lying, the Propaganda (learnt in big books from the 1920ies, never in disrepute on the other side of the Atlantic,… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

I wondered that too, Margaret.

I think Mark is thinking of 1998 as t h e Lambeth, making Lambeth 1988 b e f o r e…

(that’s how I read it)

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Margaret quoted from Stand Firm: “As a frequent visitor here and occasional poster, I often find myself quitting reading a thread of comments as soon as I see a MM post. It’s not that I have anything personal against him or his ideas, it’s just that his interjections usually mark the end of any useful comments about the original post and the comment thread, more often then not, gets side tracked into a discussion centred around his comments. I couldn’t agree more, and that’s why I just banned him. Spirited dissent from revisionists is one thing, but monopolizing every other… Read more »

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

Have you no response to my sincere olive branch, then, Margaret ?

May be you missed it. Easily done, I know.

Ren Aguila
Guest
Ren Aguila

I hate to say this, but if I recall correctly Merseymike was also banned from the Ship of Fools message boards, hardly a bastion of conservatism.

From my research he was banned for crusading against evangelicals. Crusading is considered anathema on the SoF boards. It’s likely that the same behavior got him in trouble on Stand Firm.

Just so it doesn’t appear he’s been a victim of persecution.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Margaret says, “What makes you think that this compromise was worked out before Lambeth”

I was just curious about the back-story. Was there an expectation that this issue had to be run past an international body before the national church could act, or is that a post-98 expectation? Was the decision at 88 Lambeth seen as a pastoral presentation to the churches of the AC or a binding decision? Did the national churches appeal for a ruling before acting? That sort of thing.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“It’s likely that the same behavior got him in trouble on Stand Firm.”

Could you provide some evidence for this rather than just assume a certain likelyhood?

Respectable blogs have proper searchable archives and don’t just delete old postings they don’t like, so it should not be too difficult.

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

I hate to say this, but if I recall correctly Merseymike was also banned from the Ship of Fools message boards, hardly a bastion of conservatism.

From my research he was banned for crusading against evangelicals. Crusading is considered anathema on the SoF boards. It’s likely that the same behavior got him in trouble on Stand Firm.

Just so it doesn’t appear he’s been a victim of persecution.

Posted by: Ren Aguila on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 at 11:22am GMT

The ship of fools would appear to be run by a bunch of control freaks, unfortuantely.

Ren Aguila
Guest
Ren Aguila

“The ship of fools would appear to be run by a bunch of control freaks, unfortunately.” – L Roberts, 2005 hrs GMT L. Roberts, the question of moderation on that site and indeed on any other message board is always a controversial thing. Some decisions to suspend or remove someone can always receive protest. I am certain that this has happened, but since some people have concerns about assertions without proof, I won’t go there for the moment. As a counterexample, I know that a Sydney Anglican was thrown out of the ship within the year for, well, picking a… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ “As a frequent visitor here and occasional poster, I often find myself quitting reading a thread of comments as soon as I see a MM post. It’s not that I have anything personal against him or his ideas, it’s just that his interjections usually mark the end of any useful comments about the original post and the comment thread, more often then not, gets side tracked into a discussion centered around his comments” I couldn’t agree more, and that’s why I just banned him. Spirited dissent from revisionists is one thing, but monopolizing every other thread is another. If… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

L Roberts You are quite right – I missed it — as you may or may not have noticed I don’t come each day (a sign of a large job and having a family of four children I suppose) but rather every few days if life is not too hectic. Thanks for the olive branch. More generally to listers here (ie not specifically talking about L Roberts): Could I try to gently suggest that those who oppose your views do not have horns, nor cloven feet, but they do have sincerely held views that actually do have an awful lot… Read more »

Stephen Roberts
Guest
Stephen Roberts

Margaret “[…] those who oppose your views do not have horns, nor cloven feet, but they do have sincerely held views […]” Hear, hear. Unfortunately, it is far too easy to label ourselves and others (look at Andrew Goddard’s latest Fulcrum newsletter as a good example). So much time is spent rallying behind campaign banners that we lose sight of Christ (myself included). I feel the individual and honest testimony from posters trying their best to live as Christians is lost beneath the accusation of “reasserter” and “reassessors” – in doing so, we lose sight of our spiritual North in… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“Could I try to gently suggest that those who oppose your views do not have horns, nor cloven feet, but they do have sincerely held views that actually do have an awful lot of support in the church universal, by people of great intellect as well as those of small.”

May I gently suggest the same to many of those on your side of this fence, Margaret?

Malcolm+
Guest

Margaret: “Could I try to gently suggest that those who oppose your views do not have horns, nor cloven feet, but they do have sincerely held views that actually do have an awful lot of support in the church universal, by people of great intellect as well as those of small.”

Amen to that, Margaret.

You might want to make that suggestion to some of your friends at Stand Firm, Virtueonline and cetera. I, for one, have grown tired of having them lie about me.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Margaret: I suppose that gay Anglicans are feeling rather embattled. But then, that is not surprising, as we have been talked about, talked past, and talked out of existence as decent human beings by the dominant loud voices in the C of E, relentlessly, for several years now. What has happened is a pastoral disaster for the Church of England: no group of people should have to put up with being spoken about endlessly as, at best, a “problem”, and, at worst, inclined to some unique “evil.”

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Margaret “Could I try to gently suggest that those who oppose your views do not have horns, nor cloven feet, but they do have sincerely held views that actually do have an awful lot of support in the church universal, by people of great intellect as well as those of small.” You can “gently” suggest, thank you. And in that spirit we might all be much more inclined to listen. I agree, emotions often run away with us here. So can I please ask for a little understanding? Many of the conservatives here post with little comprehension that they are… Read more »