Thinking Anglicans

opinions at the end of August

In the Guardian this week, Riazat Butt wrote about her sister’s experience wearing a face veil in Southampton, see Turning the tables and if you have time, read the comments too.

Today, in Face to Faith, Shahid Malik writes about Ramadan.

Over at The Times Jonathan Sacks writes about Genesis and the origin of the Origin of the species.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about A delightful case of curiosities. More details about this exhibition are available here. And there is more here.

Giles Fraser wrote in the Church Times about his Norfolk holiday in Surely God is specially present here?

The On Faith website asked various pundits the question: Advise John McCain and Barack Obama on the role religion should play in their presidential campaigns.

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Ford ElmsGöran Koch-SwahnePluralistrick allenTreebeard Recent comment authors
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Pluralist
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I must say how well Jonathan Sacks writes. In one short article, he shows how Jewish faith is open to be lived using its words rather than a proof system to be repeated tying up its words. He leaves the words open and creative. There is something to be learnt from this man.

drdanfee
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drdanfee

I deeply appreciate Rabbi Sacks way with reflections upon the Hewbrew Scriptures – and that hot button book, Genesis, so beloved of so many rightwing believers in Anglican venues who are so wound up about dissing anybody who is not straight based on their obliquely eisegetic readings of Genesis – and I suddenly find myself wondering what keeps Rowan Williams from similar clarity and elegance of open-minded reflection? Surely the rabbi supports a notion that some of our distinctive historical Anglican capacities for this sort of open thinking and faithfulness must stem from the great, long traditions of the rabbi’s… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“The more we know about the intricacy and improbability of life, the more reason we have to wonder and give thanks”. – Rabbi Sachs

What a profound statement about the ‘foolishness of God’ that confounds the wisdom of the wise!

I wonder if the good Rabbi might think that this allows an insight into the complexity of human sexuality, and its diversity of expression?

BillyD
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BillyD

Giles Fraser quotes a Reformed theologian who writes, “The concept of the intrinsically holy place was basically pagan…”

What about the centrality of Jerusalem and its Temple for Judaism? We may have “baptized” individual places of pilgrimage, changing them from pagan to Christian, but we took the concept over from Judaism, it seems.

Bob in SW PA
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Bob in SW PA

Although I’m not an athiest, I do subscribe to a lot of what Darwin gave us. I also, liked Rabbi Sacks “little talk.” Kudos to Rabbi Sacks! Dan: I think we can say that most right wing evanegelicals are uncomfortable with the uncertainty that comes from questioning the bible. I found with my former rector that she just couldn’t live with the uncertainty, the not knowing. Funny though, she is one of Duncan’s favorites and we all know what the bible says about women teaching men. How she believes all the bible except for the part stating she shouldn’t be… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

I thought the Chief Rabbi on creation was brilliant…I would like to see him debate Dawkins..but there again you can’t debate a scientific fundamentalist.

craig
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I don’t agree with the theologian that Fraser quotes.

Christians have recognised ‘special’ places right from the beginning – not least the resting places of the martyrs

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“I think we can say that most right wing evanegelicals are uncomfortable with the uncertainty that comes from questioning the bible.” I think you are right, Bob. You must also include in this the fact that some of them consider the traditional position that the Church, guided by the Spirit, discerns the meaning of Scripture is, in itself, “questioning” the Bible. That’s why much of traditional Christianity gets dismissed as “the traditions of men”. Look at the comments made about Cardinal Newman’s bones. There’s nowhere in the Bible that we can, or should, venerate the remains of those whose path… Read more »

Pluralist
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Rabbi Sacks is Orthodox: that’s what makes him so interesting. He is not part of progressive or liberal Judaism.

orfanum
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orfanum

OK, so this is off-topic in a way but I am a little surprised to see that the following has been overlooked this week: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/aug/28/health.socialexclusion?gusrc=rss&feed=worldnews Quote from the report: ‘Health inequity “is caused by the unequal distribution of income, goods and services and of the consequent chance of leading a *flourishing life*”. It is not a natural phenomenon, but “the result of policies that prize the interests of some over those of others – all too often a rich and powerful minority over the interests of a disempowered majority”.’ Could we possibly have a bit more coverage of such issues?… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

thanks Pluralist for the Jewish Orthodoxy reminder about Rabbi Sacks – still in USA I think I would find an easier, less rancorous entree among the reformed or even more liberal Jews as a sojourning Anglican/ex-Anglican perhaps; although I do seem to recall that some movement has occurred in my penultimate directions within Jewish Orthodoxy – admitting openly gay men to rabbinical schools and the leeway recently voted by the USA orthodox rabbi council if I am remembering it correctly. Yes the orthodox Jews are still wrestling mightily with Leviticus and other authorities, like Jacob. And as the news often… Read more »

Treebeard
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Treebeard

I think Pluralist it would be more accurate to say Rabbi Sachs is conservative. ‘Orthodox’ has different conotations in British Jewry. But certainly keeps the Jewish mizvoth etc including keeping kosher.

There is quite a sanity about most of UK Judaism. Its quite hard to go nuts within a Jewish framework of practice and prayer, in the way that Reform (C of E), Gafcon and CI do !!! 😉

He is the chief rabbi of the Union of Hebrew synagogues of the Commonwealth.

But yes, he is certainly, not part of the Reform movement or the Liberal movement.

Treebeard
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Treebeard

I meant to add this url for Rabbi Sachs earlier, and omitted to ! —

http://www.chiefrabbi.org/ra-index.html

rick allen
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It is indeed interesting that the good Rabbi sees Darwin dealing a death blow to the “argument from design,” when he thereafter observes, “The believer might wonder, as does Lord Rees, president of the Royal Society, in his Just Six Numbers, at the extraordinary precision of the six mathematical constants that determine the shape of the Universe, such that if even one were fractionally different neither we nor the Universe would exist.” This is precisely the sort of thing that those finding divine design in the universe look to. It is not what the Bible is about. It is more… Read more »

Pluralist
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I have a rule of playing cards and showing someone else. The cards come out in precise numeric order, though in any order of suits, and jokers at the end. The cards are shuffled. If the cards don’t come out like that, the cards disappear and time collapses. Time begins again each shuffle and display – time only keeps going with four suits each in numeric order and the jokers at the end. Someone seeing this says this must be intended: what are the chances of this arrangement of cards. Precisely the same as any other arrangement of the cards.… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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“Today, in Face to Faith, Shahid Malik writes about Ramadan.”

Over here we have had several of these articles extolling the Hellenists Virtues of Gnosticist/Platonist Abstinences, regardless of being (in part) part of a Tradition which once heavily Criticized and Refuted the same as “dirty sins of Monks” – and the accompanying Hypocrisies (does anyone remember Dr Martin?).

All too apparent with Ramadan, which far from being an exercise in Virtue and Humility and Charity for most, seems to be about Gluttony and Over-spending for the majority.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“Giles Fraser quotes a Reformed theologian who writes, “The concept of the intrinsically holy place was basically pagan…”

The same is claimed over here. Indeed, one of the famed Reformers, Olaus Petri Nericius, a Deacon at Stockholm St Nicolai (= the Cathedral), whose marriage was celebrated in 1525 with the first mass sung in Swedish, is quoted saying “Churches are good to have, when raining.”

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“None the less, there are places where I am able to recognise more of the divine presence than others.” Those who consider holy places to be basically pagan miss this point entirely. It is NOT that God is more present at any one place, but that WE are more able to feel His presence in some places than others. It is not a consciously thought out thing. The idea that faith must be composed of such logical conscious ideas is, I would argue, far more akin to ancient paganism. It denies that only a portion of the brain God gave… Read more »