Saturday, 31 July 2010

opinion

Katharine Jefferts Schori preached at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, on Sunday 25 July 2010, the feast of St James. The Guardian has published the text of her sermon: The search for dignity. ‘We must challenge the human tendency to insist that dignity doesn’t apply to the poor, or to immigrants, or to women, or Muslims, or gay and lesbian people.’

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about Excess is reassuring as well as attractive.

This week’s The Question in The Guardian is Do we have a right to death? with replies by George Pitcher, Joel Joffe, James Harris and Onora O’Neill.

Ekklesia has two items on religion and the media. Simon Barrow writes about The changing landscape of religion and the media.
And there is a paper by Lizzie Clifford: ‘Thought for the Day’: Beyond the god-of-the-slots. The abstract of this report is copied below the fold.

David Chillingworth is Stumped on his Thinking Aloud blog.
And if you have an answer to his “What should I say to the Pope?” question you might want to develop it into an entry for Andrew Brown’s Pope T-shirt competition at The Guardian.

Mark Vernon writes in The Guardian about Afghanistan’s unjust war. ‘We must apply the just war tradition to our analysis of the conflict in Afghanistan. Otherwise, we risk disaster.’

‘Thought for the Day’: Beyond the god-of-the-slots
by Lizzie Clifford

Abstract

In this groundbreaking new report on the long-running and (of late) controversial BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day feature, researcher Lizzie Clifford moves forward the debate about whether the prime-time ‘God slot’ should be preserved, reformed or abolished by carrying out a careful examination of the actual broadcast scripts themselves – with surprising results. Many of the claims made by both stout defenders and vigorous opponents of the current Thought for the Day format – which excludes non-religious and minority religious voices – prove questionable. What some regard as the feature’s weakness, its attenuated theological content, can in other respects assist with bridge-building and conversation between people of different belief commitments. On the other hand, the restriction of presenters to those who represent groups with a long-established liturgical and doctrinal base seems unnecessary, given that the actual content of their scripts does not always make such a requirement. Humanists and those from ‘alternative’ religious backgrounds also deserve to be heard. It is not enough for Thought for the Day to survive simply as a bastion of ‘religious’ speech, argues this report. TftD can be valuable, so long as it manages to offer a new angle on the stories making the news, triggering fresh ways of thinking, and by utilising high-quality writers and broadcasters, capable of contributing an arresting script that genuinely prompts reflection. Overall, if TftD is going to survive as prime-time broadcasting, and make a genuinely valuable contribution, it must not compromise its potential to challenge the status quo and to strive for peace and humility in the face of tensions over difference. Equally, dispute over Thought for the Day is a significant one, the report suggests, because it is symptomatic of wider questions surrounding the more general place of religious broadcasting and of religious speech in an increasingly plural society.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 31 July 2010 at 10:00am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion
Comments

Stunning sermon by the Presiding Bishop. What a pity the Lambeth Palace gatekeepers read the Telegraph rather than the Guardian.

And, of course, the following question will be on many lips: was the Bishop allowed to wear her mitre on this occasion?

Posted by: kieran crichton on Saturday, 31 July 2010 at 12:32pm BST

Giles Fraser explained in a comment on another thread that she didn't wear a mitre. Here's a copy of what he said:

"Just to say, Lapinbizarre, the situation with Bishop Katharine is very different tomorrow at St Paul's. No Bishop wears a mitre to preach at St Paul's. Bishop Katharine will be treated exactly the same as every other Bishop who preaches here. Exactly the same. A mitre would have been appropriate had she been celebrating - but she was invited to preach. I will be celebrating the Eucharist."

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 31 July 2010 at 4:04pm BST

The Primate of Nigeria claims the title of a Prophet. The Presiding Bishop of TEC wears the mantle of a prophet.

Posted by: SW on Saturday, 31 July 2010 at 4:06pm BST

Thanks for posting Our Katharine's sermon. We are mighty blessed in her ministry.Our PBs serve a liimited term [10 years], and usually we and the PB are ready for a change at the end of that time. Now I'm thinking that might not be the case when the time comes, but I am confident that God will find something useful for her to do later!

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Saturday, 31 July 2010 at 9:11pm BST

Presiding Bishop Katharine Schori exemplifies just one more brilliant exposition of God's call upon women to preach the Gospel. If anyone still thinks that a woman's word - as a minister of the Gospel' - is of no effect and therefore not to be trusted, all they need to do is compare Bishop Katharine's measured, thoughtful and charismatic ministry of Word and Sacrament with the sorry maunderings and piety of some of her detractors in the Church.

Most women clergy (and Bishops) have to prove themselves to be at least equal, if not superior to their male collegues in theological competance in order to receive due consideration of their various Church bodies as to their suitability to carry out the work of the Gospel.

Mary Magdalene has not been known as The Apostle to The Apostles for nothing. And that was Our Lord's opinion of her validity as His messenger of the Gospel. "In Christ there is neither male nor female". True, or false? And yet this is still being debated in the Church of this age!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 4 August 2010 at 2:36pm BST
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