Saturday, 3 November 2012

opinion for All Saints tide

James Martin writes in The Huffington Post that The Saints Were, Yes, Funny.

Theo Hobson writes in The Guardian that Rowan Williams got it right about ritual.

Andrew Brown writes in The Guardian Stonewall’s ‘bigot of the year’: careful with overusing that word.

He has also written this: Wanted: new archbishop of Canterbury – must have plans to fill the pews.
[The Bishop of Lincoln has issued a message relating to this article; it is item 2 here.]

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 3 November 2012 at 11:00am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

Stonewall's 'Bigot of the Year' award serves a useful purpose in countering extreme rhetoric that may cause harm to significant numbers of people. The Cardinal went way beyond a reasoned argument against gay marriage. After all, I somehow doubt Brown's colleague at the Guardian - Michael White - would have attracted a single vote for his mildly expressed opposition. Stonewall's Scottish President got it about right when he said that the Cardinal's comments had 'gone well beyond [a] decent level of public discourse'.

It might serve the Scottish Catholic Church well to turn the other cheek.

Posted by: Andrew on Saturday, 3 November 2012 at 2:43pm GMT

Calling someone a bigot is, after all, speech and we're always told how important free speech is.

Posted by: Craig Nelson on Sunday, 4 November 2012 at 12:21am GMT

If the cap fits...It seems to me that the (manufactured) outrage over awarding the bigot of the year award to the Cardinal means that the point has been well made.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Sunday, 4 November 2012 at 4:35pm GMT

So Theo Hobson's turning his back on liberality and substantive content is instead towards a vacuous ritualism for its own theatricality.

Posted by: Pluralist on Sunday, 4 November 2012 at 6:37pm GMT

Following Rowan Williams, Theo Hobson has tried to bypass the aporias of linguistic or communicative approaches to religion. The sign or signifier is a metaphysical notion of meaning because it presupposes legibility. A signifier refers to a signified, something which would be outside the chain of signification. A sacramental sign means what it says is an early version of traditional speech act theory and notions that meaning is constructed the way one builds a barn. But, following Jacques Derrida, it would be more accurate to speak of traces, marks which may or may not mean something. It remains undecidable, recalling Wittgenstein's advice on religion that if one sees a light in the forest one might take it as a sign to be followed. But one can never know it leads anywhere or means anything. At the most one could say "Perhaps."

The speech act or the performative giveth and taketh, as in the epitaph "I told you I was sick," which seems to speak to the addressee but necessarily remains a mechanical device.

Poetry, with its resistance to transparent meaning and quick reads, would provide a better way of thinking of religion rather than a communication of a transparent meaning.

An ethics of noncomprehension would not pretend to know what ritual is all about.

Gary Paul Gilbert

Posted by: Gary Paul Gilbert on Sunday, 4 November 2012 at 11:34pm GMT

An excellent article by Theo Hobson in The Guardian.

His assessment of ++Rowan's charismatic influence on him in matters of liturgical worship should not be lost in any attempt to understand ++Rowan's spiritual and philosophical approach to wholesome religion. Prayer and contemplation are embedded in the Archbishop's priestly ministry in the Church.

Having recently experienced ++Rowan's presidency and preaching gifts at a celebratory Eucharist in the chapel of Christ's College, Christchurch, here in New Zealand; one could not but be struck by the simple and yet profound way in which the ABC led us in worship. He celebrated the liturgy as though he really believed that Christ was actually there, present among us - a facility that couldn't but have evoked a quiet enthusiasm in the participant congregation.

That Rowan is a Man of God is indisputable. Who will follow him will have huge shoes to fill - in terms of personal involvement with Christ through a life of prayer and dedication. He deserves the thanks of all of us for 10 years of service.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 6 November 2012 at 10:00am GMT
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