THINKING ANGLICANS

background to debate on Mary

In addition to the official papers available for this afternoon’s debate, which can be found here, the following may also be of interest:

Fulcrum Response to the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission Agreed Statement (first published in 2005) by Bishop Graham Kings.

Anglican Mainstream has published an article by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali Evangelical Mary.

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Erika BakerRod GillisLaurence RobertsGeoffFather Ron Smith Recent comment authors
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Anglican Observer
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Anglican Observer

I rarely agree with what Fulcrum have to say but in their comments on ARCIC and Mary they are spot on.

The problem with ARCIC is that it almost inevitably has agreement built into it, sometimes to the point of a disambiguation that few Anglicans other than those on the catholic wing really believe.

Over the years ARCIC has made some extraordinary claims about how much Anglicans and Roman Catholics have in common. If they were really true we should all be queuing up for the ordinariate.

Geoff
Guest

A disappointingly superficial reading of the ARCIC document, which is on my nightstand right now, from Fulcrum, not that we should be surprised after what passes for profound reflection on the Covenant from their corner. For all that Bishop Kings pleads not wanting to give away the game, by adopting RC language of “dogma” he implicitly does so. He also seems to conflate “consonance” (which the Assumption, as a poetic illustration of the general resurrection hoped for all, certainly passes muster) with “mandate,” implying a sort of regulative principle (if it’s not sanctioned, it’s forbidden). As for the addressing of… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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“Luke is also conscious that Mary was reflecting on what was happening and it may be that a lot of what we know about the birth narratives somehow comes from Mary’s reflection. In this sense Mary is also the first theologian, if you like, not just the first Christian but the first theologian who was thinking about the things that God was doing with her and for her and in her.” – Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali – T omy suprise, I am very much in accord with Bp.Nazir-Ali’s summary of the recent ARCIC deliberations on the place of Mary in God’s… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

Did Mary, in fact, become a Christian ? Seems unlikely.

Should we be in such an unrealistic and romanticised rush to see her (and others) to abandon her Judaism ?

Father Ron Smith
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“Did Mary, in fact, become a Christian ? Seems unlikely” – Laurence Roberts. – Is this a serious question, Laurence? Or are you pulling the corporate leg? At the time of Mary’s earthly life, apart from bearing the Incarnate Christ (one might see this as a priestly action), she became one of his most devoted followers – to the Cross; and afterwards the surrogate ‘mother’ of St. John, his Beloved Disciple. Mary is also thought to have been a friend of St. Luke, the Physician, who gave us the infancy narratives about Jesus. All the liturgical Christian Initiation formulae in… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Ron Where is the evidence that she did anything more than follow her son to his bitter end as any mother would, and then returned home to be a normal wife and mother, still not understanding what he was about, far less becoming an ardent follower? And every now and then, when John turned up, she gave him a home and treated him like one of her own while he was there. I know that this admiration and elevation of Mary is hugely important to Anglo-Catholics and to all of Roman Catholicism. But it’s not actually grounded in any kind… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Erika, I am aware that the protestant soul finds it difficult to accede to any sort of devotion to Mary, the mother of Christ – even though the Magnificat – which is said or sung at every Anglican Evensong – echoes the phrase: “All generations shall call me Blessed!” Without Mary’s ‘Yes’ to God, The Incarnation might have been something rather different from the reversal of the sin of Adam (disobedience). Her nurture of the Infant Christ is a treasured tradition of the Church Universal East and West – her title ‘Theotokos’ being acclaimed by both traditions. Simply put: the… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Ron,
I have no doubt that this is good theology.
What I do question is that it is part of what Christians have to believe.

You seemed surprised that Laurence questioned whether Mary did become a Christian. Obviously, as an Anglo-Catholic, you do not even entertain that idea.
But I don’t think there is any cause to be surprised by it. To question the elevation of Mary is fairly standard stuff and also supported by good theology.
It’s one of those things were Christians can disagree without any difficulties.

Geoff
Guest

Erika, you seem to equivocate between questioning the “elevation” of Mary (as Protestant thinkers long have done) and questioning whether she was a Christian at all. The latter is hardly a specifically Anglo-Catholic notion; all of Christendom regards Mary as a saint – i.e. she said Yes and consented to God’s plan, and remained by Christ’s side to the end. That’s hardly controversial stuff and Fr Ron’s bemusement at its questioning (which I share) can hardly be chalked up to Anglo-Catholic scruples. If it’s simply a reworking of the “Jesus wasn’t a Christian” meme (i.e. Mary was an observant Jew… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

My question has nothing to do with ‘Protestantism ‘;and everything to do with history. Particularly the histories of Judaism and Christianity. Historically it is unclear, but it seems that ‘Christianity’ or something resembling it came into being some time (decades?) after the death of Jesus. But with Judaism’s tragic history, in which we played such a decisive and terrible part, it is very important not to rush in, hoping for and investing emotionally and theologically, in a Jewess’s abandonment of her ancient Faith. Many Jews have been treated this way down through ‘Christian’ history.(Please don’t make me spell this out… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

The article by bishop Michael Nazir-Ali is most comprehensive and compelling. Thank You for making us aware of it. It’s one of the most interesting pieces I’ve read since the publication of “Mary For All Christians” by John (Ian) Macquarrie (Collins-Erdmans 1990 & 1991). I’d like to encourage folks so interested to look for a copy of Macquarrie’s book. A gem in the book is the devotional appendix “An Ecumenical Office of Mary the mother of Jesus.” Like so many Christians, the traditional Ave or “Hail Mary” is an indelible part of my faith formation. I frequently make use of… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Laurence
the Protestantism I was brought up in allowed the possibility that Mary remained embedded in her Jewish faith.