Monday, 23 June 2008

Bishop of Edinburgh on "Approaching Lambeth"

The Diocese of Edinburgh has launched a new website today. It contains a lecture given by the Bishop of Edinburgh on 17 June concerning current conflicts in the Anglican Communion.

The prefeace to the address reads:

This address was given to members of the Diocese of Edinburgh on 17 June 2008. Drawing upon earlier addresses and Bible studies given in the diocese, it argues that the church should allow the category of ‘the tragic’ to shape its perspective on the world, and should place more emphasis on what is highlighted as ‘ethical transcendence’ in its understanding of God. Doing this creates the possibility of articulating a circumscribed and limited pluralism, totally different from simple relativism. The paper concludes by suggesting that much in current approaches to Anglican difficulties rests upon a too limited approach to the doctrine of the Trinity. The heart of the paper is a plea that Anglicanism recaptures elements in the traditions which lie at the heart of its life, brings them to the fore and addresses our current disputes in their light.

The address appears in the ‘News’ section of the website. Or you can download it directly as a pdf or Word file.

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 23 June 2008 at 11:57pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Scottish Episcopal Church
Comments

Yes I picked this up a few days back thanks to Dougal's Blog:

Mine (Pluralist Speaks):
http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/06/wrong-endings.html

Dougal Think:
http://dougalthink.blogspot.com/2008/06/for-once-in-my-life-i-agree-with-bishop.html

It comes down to the old Isaiah Berlin clash of objective values versus plurality via relativism, and I don't think it is missionary activity as such that made African Anglicanism more singular but the arrogant culturally antagonistic attitudes of many missionaries. Dougal uses it to be against the fundies and a liberal glee club, but I don't know what a liberal glee club is.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 24 June 2008 at 12:39am BST

Deeper and non-simplistic thinking like Bishop Brian's is steeped with some of the telling hallmarks that brought me as a believer to Anglicanism in my college years. What another sort of refreshing and nourishing religious method after long, dry years of sucking dust and dancing in the certainties whose whirlwinds blew in the typical USA Bible Belt church.

So good to hear these reflections on the even of Lambeth as it were. One hopes Scotland and other provinces might be able to carry this nearly forgotten church life spirit into the conversations.

GAFCONites may try to shout these views and insights down, to the extent that they bother to bother at all. But this witness refreshes me whatever the others involved in some iteration of conservative domination and realignment may so surely believe about me, so negatively with such doubt-free vigor.

Thanks lots, bishop Brian. Glad you took the time and made the effort.

Posted by: drdanfee on Tuesday, 24 June 2008 at 5:19am BST

What an inspiring essay! Thank you for linking to it here.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Tuesday, 24 June 2008 at 11:24am BST

Over 300 years ago, the first Bishop of the newly created diocese of Edinburgh, William Forbes, wrote an erudite piece urging that the feuding churches of Scotland and Europe to put stale factionalism behind them and forge something new out of their common heritage in the theology of the patristic church.

If historical form is anything to go by, the omens for Bishop Forbes's successor aren't that flash. After much bandying-about of Covenants, there was massive blood-letting, the splintering of factions into further factions, and finally a retreat into a couple of centuries of ecclesiastical cold war.

Posted by: Nick Thompson on Tuesday, 24 June 2008 at 2:29pm BST

From page eleven:

"Those who want a united uniform church all believing the same thing simply fail to realize the richness and variety with which we are dealing when we meet the man Jesus.

We do not have diversity because we have not been able to agree. We have diversity because we have been entrusted with a richness which no one of us as an individual can contain, but can find a place in the Body of Christ."

This is precisely why I left an Evangelical congregation for the Episcopal Church. At the time I understood well the first paragraph; it is only in time that I have come to understand the second.

Oh that we had heard these words some time ago, and oh that more will join in the refrain.

Posted by: Edward of Baltimore on Tuesday, 24 June 2008 at 3:39pm BST

Many thanks. Fascinating stuff regarding the Holy Trinity.

Posted by: Neil on Tuesday, 24 June 2008 at 5:29pm BST

Yes, inspiring indeed and thoughtful. Deeply thoughtful and contemplative.

Like some of the best of the olde tyme anglicanism that some times feels as if it has been swept away forever, by the brave new world of bigotry and ignorance, dressed up as piety or passion.

Posted by: Treebeard on Tuesday, 24 June 2008 at 5:35pm BST

All the above.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 24 June 2008 at 7:13pm BST
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