Thinking Anglicans

thinking about establishment

Alan Wilson has a post today about Church Establishment and Freedom, which considers the situation in Denmark.

It’s interesting to see Denmark extolled by a thoughtful commentator as the freest country in Europe, most open to humane debate, with the world’s most atheist-friendly culture. Many believe you can’t pass go in becoming a free society until you have separated church and state. So how do they handle religion in Denmark?

The Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology in conjunction with Affirming Catholicism and the Theology Faculty of Oxford University is holding a day conference on The Established Church: Past, Present, Future.

A Day Conference at St John’s College, Oxford 24th October 2009

Day Chair: Canon Prof Sarah Foot (Christ Church, Oxford)

  • Session 1: Theology and Establishment Canon Prof Nigel Biggar (Christ Church, Oxford): ‘Why the Establishment of the Church of England is Good for a Liberal Society
  • Session 2: Case Studies Dr Matthew Grimley (Merton College, Oxford): ‘The dog that didn’t bark: the Prayer Book Crisis and the failure of disestablishment’
    Rev’d Dr Mark Chapman (Ripon College, Cuddesdon): ‘“A Free Church in a Free State”: Anglo-catholicism and Establishment’
  • Session 3: Contemporary Issues Canon Dr Judith Maltby (Corpus Christi College, Oxford): ‘Gender and Establishment’
    Prof Elaine Graham (University of Manchester): ‘Establishment, multiculturalism and social cohesion’
  • Session 4: Comment and Roundtable Comment: Revd Prof David Martin (Emeritus Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics)
    Roundtable responses, opening to a Q&A/Discussion session.

Full details and the application form are available here.

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Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

Alan Wilson seems to have rather a narrow view of Christianity in America. Yes, we do have Phred Phelps and other crazies, but we also have robust and intellectually challenging leadership and theologians in the mainstream denominations of both Christianity and Judaism [I don’t know enough about American Muslims to comment – I’m sure they do also – note to self, do some research].

Fr Mark
Guest

Two points that come to my mind when reading Bp Alan’s interesting post are: First, while Sunday attendance is very low here in Denmark (as also in Sweden and among the indigenous community in England), there is in Denmark a very much higher sense of broad attachment to the Church from the wider community than in the UK. This is seen in the very high proportion of children baptised and confirmed, and in the very high levels of Christmas, wedding and funeral attendance. This strong residual attachment to the Church means that the people running it are much less social… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

One point in all this talk of the benefits and downside of Establishment of the C.of E. is: “How will the fact of current Establishment affect the proposal to recruit the Church of England into a Communion Covenant relationship, which could require the C.of E. to ‘toe-the-line’ on edicts issued by the joint Primates of the Communion?” For instance, unless the new Covenant agrees to accept the Archbishop of Canterbury as truly the “Primus Inter Pares” with special powers of discipline and doctrinal enforcement on the rest of the Communion Partners; this might mean that the legal Establishment of the… Read more »

rick allen
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“This strong residual attachment to the Church means that the people running it are much less social weirdos than their equivalents in England, and…are laughed at as the nut-jobs they are by the sane majority.”

Pretty good characterization of how Kierkegaard was regarded.

MarkBrunson
Guest

“Pretty good characterization of how Kierkegaard was regarded.”

But an even better characterization of how most nut-jobs are regarded.

Fr Mark
Guest

Rick: Generalising from how Kierkegård was regarded in his lifetime in Denmark would be like doing so from how Newman was seen in his lifetime in England!

Gruntvig perhaps set the tone in the Danish Church more than Kierkegård?

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“we do have Phred Phelps and other crazies, but we also have robust and intellectually challenging leadership” Can I suggest that this “robust, challenging leadership” has done next to nothing to inform the American people or the wider world of its presence, particularly those leadewrs who are Episcopalian? The only Anglicans who have made themselves even marginally known outside religious circles are those who are perpetuating the idea that Christians and their God hate gay people. The average American knows very well who Jerry Falwell is. I doubt many of them could name an Episcopal bishop outside of Gene Robinson… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“The average American knows very well who Jerry Falwell is. …. Sorry, but the “robust, challenging leadership” is not even on most people’s radar.”

I hope the average American knows also that Falwell is dead, and has been for several years.

People like Falwell and the Purpose Driven Life guy and, to a lesser extent these days, Pat Robertson, have been excellent and persistant self-promoters to the press, and have indeed a high name recognition among Americans. I wish it were otherwise.

That said, I think the writer who made reference to Phelps might have been better informed than the average American.
C

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

Going back to the theme of this post – the Establishment status of the Church of England; it has still not been clarified how, and when this might affect the institution of an Anglican Covenant, which might seek to discipline various members – including the Church of England? What if, for instance, the Province of Nigeria (which has already distanced itself from Canterbury in its official constitution) should want to stop the C.of E. from using the Indaba process in its internal theological discussions?

Josh L.
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Josh L.

Disestablishment is forever ending. For all generations. The Anglican Covenant is a flimsy sheet of notebook paper written in pencil.

Fr Paul
Guest
Fr Paul

Fr Mark
Spelling is Kierkegaard – see his grave.
http://www.copenhagenpictures.dk/assistens-kirkegaard-soeren-kierkegaard.html

RPNewark
Guest
RPNewark

Father Ron asks how the Establishment (sic) status of the Church of England might affect an Anglican covenant.

I may be wrong, but I’m sure I remember that at a meeting of the General Synod (can’t remember which one) a legal officer advised that for as long as the Church of England remained the established church in this country, it would not be legal for it to subscribe and, by inference, to submit, to any agreement which would permit any external control or direction be it theological, doctrinal, administrative or anything else.

If that’s true, long live establishment!

Fr Mark
Guest

Fr Paul: Jeg tale lidt Dansk, tak!

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Fr Paul: Jeg tale lidt Dansk, tak!” – Fr. Mark

Dear Fr. Mark, could we have this translated into the language ‘understanded of the people’ please. We had a big enough struggle with Rome to get the translation of the Latin Liturgy into ‘the local lingo. Clarity makes for a much better under-standing of what is actually going on.

“Though I speak with the tongues of angels…”

Fr Mark
Guest

Fr Ron, I’m sure Fr Paul will translate it for you, as it’s evidently his area of expertise…

Fr Igginhell
Guest
Fr Igginhell

“I speak a little Danish, thanks”

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Thank you, Simon. The translation was most enlightening. And it does give us a much clearer picture of the prodigious extent of Fr. Mark’s mastery of the Danish language – a big help.

Fr Mark
Guest

Fr Ron…. the minimal extent, I think you mean!

P.S. but the weird extra Scandiwegian letters are so much fun, don’t you think? One’s just bursting to use them all the time.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Fr. Mark, as a Cockney friend of mine often says: “If yer carn’ av a laff, wos it all abahrt?
Now, translate that, if you can.

BillyD
Guest

Fr Ron: “If yer carn’ av a laff, wos it all abahrt?”

“Si no se puede reir, ¿para qué sirve la vida?”

I never could appreciate Kierkegaard/Kierkegård. “It’s impossible to say anything about faith – and to prove it, I’m going to write umpteen books about faith.”

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“England is going nowhere spiritually. The nation has lost its way. Its inhabitants are stirring out their lives with coffee spoons; they are dying for lack of spiritual bread and they are sending themselves to hell. In the end, the church will be held accountable for its failure and lack of nerve, bearing in mind St. Peter’s words, “judgment begins first with the household of God”. – David Virtue (V.o.L.) on England’s Future – This quasi-Baptist/Anglican defender of “Orthodox Anglicanism in the USA and World-Wide”, has recently enjoyed a ‘sojourn’ in England, where he has observed the spiritual trials of… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“quasi-Baptist/Anglican” This is the point. The man comes from a tradition within Christianity for which the term “Spiritual Warfare” refers not to the doing of good, but in fortifying themselves for the very concrete fight that is to come against the very real, very armed, forces of evil. The sense of impending attack is at the core of their world view. They’re kind of like a religious version of North Korea. Left Behind is not, for them, poorly written science fiction, but a prediction of God is going to do, and of their role in it. These are people for… Read more »