Thinking Anglicans

Monday morning reports

Riazat Butt in the Guardian has Archbishop tears up script to face critics

And also, Ayesha Khan on Sharia sensibilities

Jonathan Petre in the Daily Telegraph has Synod turns on Rowan Williams in sharia row

And also, here is what Lord Carey said yesterday in the Sunday Telegraph Are we promoting harmony or Muslim ghettos?. Today, Janet Daley has Removing the state from Dr Rowan Williams

Andrew Grice in the Independent says Williams resists calls to resign over sharia row

And Johann Hari has Rowan Williams has shown us one thing – why multiculturalism must be abandoned

See previous TA article for reports in The Times.

The BBC has Williams to face Anglican leaders and also Sharia row persists for Williams and Carey weighs into Sharia law row and later, PM praises archbishop’s integrity

The Press Association has Archbishop ready to defend himself

Reuters says Williams to speak out after storm

Here’s the timetable for today’s General Synod session:

3.15 p.m. to 7 p.m.







And the BBC has this helpful Q&A: The General Synod explained

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Spirit of Vatican II
15 years ago

The disproportion between the Archbishop’s remarks and the ensuing outrage is reminiscent of that between the Pope’s remarks in Regensburg and the storm that followed. Instant communication and globalization has made it very difficult for public figures to speak their minds with freedom. The disproportion in response in this case is a sign of some basic disorder — connected with the fraught Islamo-Christian relations of age of the War on Terror. It also seems to me a replay of British hysteria about Romanism in the nineteenth century. One of the columnists writes: “In a contest between the principles of modern… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
15 years ago

Janet Daley’s piece is very good! It exposes Rowan’s real crime, as she sees it: “He has laid bare the question that should never have been asked if the prevailing fuzzy compromise between established church and state was to remain tenable: how can a revealed religion officially accept that its position is subservient to secular law? Answer: it can’t – not without surrendering its understanding of absolute truth.” It is an interesting piece, one wonders who has the right to pose this question in the “democracy” she admires, and one suspects journalists might be among those to whom she grants… Read more »

15 years ago

I find myself in the very rare position of thinking Janet Daley’s article very good. So too does Johann Hari make some very good points. The gay issue is very closely related to the issues +Rowan raises in relation to sharia. Namely, how can one make room for a certain type of religious sensibility i.e. one that feels it cannot come to terms with the prevailing ‘liberalism’ of 21st century Britain. So the desire to allow areas in which the Church – or other religious institutions – can exercise an ‘opt-out’ in order to exercise a more traditional order that… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
15 years ago

Johann Hari’s piece sees the options as (1) multiculturalism, (2) Tebbitry, and (3) allowing each individual to do as s/he wants provided it does not harm others. He is correct that (1) is a nonsense, since it is essentially an amoral criterion. It is so little thought-out that it has not even got to the stage of wondering whether a given culture is beneficial – as though that were a side-issue. Mindless egalitarianism. (2) is equally fundamentalist in its own way: it is precisely those who have grown up in a culture and become used to it who need to… Read more »

15 years ago

Looking for the journalism-compatible crux of it, I think this is it: “Do not forget that a number of his former university pupils are involved in the theology of Radical Orthodoxy which denies the possibility of an autonomous secular ground on which ‘liberalism’ can ground itself and that all culture, society, and thought must be under the sway of the ‘theological’. (How closely this can been seen to fit something like ‘sharia’)2 AlaninLondon Williams’s theology is not identical to Radical Orthodoxy, but it is not far off. It is how a nominally liberal position (regarding a rejection of universal objective… Read more »

Prior Aelred
15 years ago

I agree that the pieces Janet Daley & Johann Hari are first rate. We Yanks having separation of church & state built into our system (at least in theory & largely because so many of the ancestors of the founders came to the colonies to escape the C of E) have trouble with the idea of special laws for different religious groups (although we have always allowed for special considerations — pacifists being allowed alternative service options rather than serving in the army, for example). But the notion of special privileges for specific groups (religious or otherwise) grinds hard against… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
15 years ago

I suggest people read Matthew Grimley’s book Citizenship, Community and the church of England. This has been a debate that has gone on essentialy since John Neville Figgis-who has clearly influenced the Abps thinking–as has Figgis’s “disciple” the Abps friend the late David Nicholls.Re the reaction to the Abps speech–it shows the great dislike many English people have of intellectuals!

15 years ago

C. Hitchens has his say on “Slate”. Good final paragraph:

Cheryl Va. Clough
15 years ago

There are so many comments to be made. There is the cluster around mistaken paradigms and idolatry e.g. believing that “the state”, “the church”, “the monarch”, “the messiah” are to completely resolve all the problems of this planet and to make the “perfect complete” manifestation. For heavens sake, sentient beings have free will and you can guarantee that when too many souls think like a blind herd, some will recognise and shift perspective so they don’t get dragged along with the masses. That’s why diversity and evolution are inevitable. Those who try to have perfection actually end up fighting for… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
15 years ago

This lecture is relevant to the discussion: “If the pluralist account is to be preferred, it is a mistake to suppose that a healthy or just society can be sustained where there is a systematic attempt to restrict religious belonging or identity to the private sphere. The faith community – like other self-regulating communities – has to be seen as a partner in the negotiations of public life; otherwise, the most important motivations for moral action in the public sphere will be obliged to conceal themselves; and religious identity, pursued and cultivated behind locked doors, can be distorted by… Read more »

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