Thinking Anglicans

opinions this weekend

Comment is free Belief has a weekly question. This week it is Can religion help us through the slump?

There are five responses from Julia Neuberger, Francis Davis, Ishtiaq Hussain, Graham Kings, and Nick Spencer.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about the Enigmatic life of Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Michael Wright argues in the Guardian that Now is a good time for Quakers to reassess their priorities and find their tongues.

Catherine Pepinster writes in The Times The beauty of our creations is also part of our faith.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times that Borrowing is no way out of the credit crisis.

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Father Ron SmithdrdanfeeFord ElmsBillyDPaul R Recent comment authors
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That’s a mixed bunch. The Quakers, in the end, can’t do much if they don’t put bums on seats, and they are facing the same decline as their belief cousins the Unitarians, if from a higher number. As for Rowan Williams, the point has been made before just how sympathetic he is to Roman and other forms of Catholicism. It is this that has shaped his view regarding the Covenant. However, as I’ve just put on my blog, you make a system more chaotic by integrating it more and running it ever faster, whereas Anglicanism ought to be looser. It’s… Read more »

David Keen

It must be the season of goodwill, I find myself agreeing completely with Giles Fraser.

Paul R
Paul R

I did not know before reading Christopher Howse’s column that Rowan Williams was not a cradle Anglican. Howse says that Williams’s parents were Welsh Non-conformists, but doesn’t say what sort. The Wikipedia entry for him says nothing about his early years. It appears then, that he was born into a Welsh Non-Conformist sect – Presbyterian or Baptist, presumably. He later became a visitor to the Benedictine Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight and considered becoming a Roman Catholic. He then chose to become an Anglican. Next he becomes Archbishop of Canterbury. Amazing. Howse describes him as enigmatic and a… Read more »


“And what IS normally meant by the word “sex”, Christopher? And why the obsession with anal sex?”

Ford, Christopher almost seems to be saying what a great number of young people and even President Clinton have said about any sexual expression that does not involve putting a penis into a vagina – it doesn’t count!

The obsession with anal sex isn’t new, of course. Straight men have thought that anal sex is the end-all and be-all of gay sex for ages. Literally. Even the Talmud equates Leviticus’ “mishkevei isha” specifically with anal sex.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms

BillyD, I appreciate the comment, but wrong thread!:-)


The passing quote about Rowan W from an alleged former academic mentor – letting reverie do where hard analysis might do better – is one of the best clues to the man’s thinking that I have seen published. Thanks lots for that one.

It still remains to be seen if/where RW will be deluded and swamped by the right, just at the time when its witness most seeks to have more and more small Anglican tents planted with believers worshipping very small Anglican gods.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith

“Rowan Williams took his own interest in prayer practically, getting up at 5am. Later he was to write a book on St Teresa of Avila, the 16th-century Spanish mystic. He realised that God’s nature is unknowable, but God’s self-revelation came principally through his Son, Jesus Christ.” – Christopher Howse, article in ‘The Telegraph’ – I should think that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, would be flattered to be called a man of prayer. After all, is that not what we would hope all our clergy to be – men and women of prayer? Too many of our clerics… Read more »