Thinking Anglicans

Rebuilding Communion

St Deiniols Library is publishing a book with this title.

The aim of this book is threefold: firstly, to provide a brief Who’s Who and What’s What on the recent history of sexual orientation and Anglicanism; secondly, to give voice to gay and lesbian people from around the Anglican world; thirdly, to reflect on the present crisis and offer new possibilities for learning from areas such as human rights legislation, the African concept of ubuntu and conflict resolution in Bosnia.

Read a fuller description of the book here, and there is a list of contributors.

The Introduction to the book is also online here. It begins:

Dear Bishop,

Thank you for your comments and concerns about the Rebuilding Communion conference and book. Let me reassure you about what we hope to achieve.

No one can deny that homosexuality is a key issue in contemporary Anglicanism; it is one of the causes of the present fracture in the worldwide Communion. St Deiniol’s has a tradition of providing a space for the discussion of issues confronting church and society. On one level, that is all we are doing. I hope we can approach the issue in new ways. For instance, the final section of the book looks at the issue from the perspective of human rights legislation, the African concept of ubuntu, conflict resolution in Bosnia and pastoral need in Canada.

All the contributors to the book are committed Anglicans, not all of us are gay. We all want to see Anglicanism renewed and revived – we are passionate about this. Most of us are Anglicans because we are attracted to its inclusive nature and its careful sifting of scripture, tradition and reason. For many of us, the ‘untidiness’ of the Anglican Communion is part of its attraction. We know that the health of our planet depends on the maintenance of our biodiversity. The same may well be true of Anglicanism. Our tradition is one of expressing faith through the cultures of our people. Consequently, our theology and ethics have often been shaped by pastoral care and concern. In a worldwide Communion, this is bound to lead to diversity and to suppress this diversity is to inflict a high cost on the freedom of the human spirit…

Recently, the library also held a conference related to the book Rebuilding Communion – Who Pays the Price? and you can still read the announcement about it here.

Some reports of the conference, including pictures and even some video, can be found at this blog, starting here.

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Pluralist
12 years ago

I’ve been keeping a look at this and thought it quite interesting. I’m not sure what the impact will be. I suppose small and steady, to give the side of the story that needs to be made (unfortunately).

robert ian williams
robert ian williams
12 years ago

W E Gladstone would turn in his grave to see his library used like this.

Pluralist
12 years ago

What an extraordinary remark. Gladstone was a religious radical – all these things are comparative to the time, but a reading of the conference hardly is out of keeping. Friends had a week with John Spong earlier in the week.

I thought it worth a summary entry, if only to balance up the attention given to the other lot.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
12 years ago

Robt Ian W and Pluralist: Gladstone wasn’t just a religious radical, but socially too. His plans for a saner settlement in Ireland were years ahead of his time, much too far ahead for the backward-looking Establishment to countenance. If Gladstone’s forward-looking Home Rule plans had not been repeatedly blocked by closed-minded reactionaries, would not Ireland have been spared partition, and would the whole relationship between Britain and Ireland not have been less fraught in the 20th c?

MRG
MRG
12 years ago

R.I. Williams, it seems, not only has unique insight into the mind of God on non-Christian religions, but also knows the opinions of dead nineteenth-century prime ministers. How useful! While you’re communing with the dead, Mr Williams, can you tell me what Pitt the Younger would have made of the Lisbon Treaty, and elucidate Disraeli’s views on NATO?

Davis d'Ambly
Davis d'Ambly
12 years ago

God bless St Deiniol’s Library for this effort.

Cheryl Va.
12 years ago

It’s lovely to see some souls actually continuing the listening process. In the introduction, they raise the proposition that some “…suggest that Anglicans should be discussing more important issues like world poverty, HIV-AIDS, climate change, issues of conflict and justice.” The question of how to handle GLBTs actually weaves into all these other debates. HIV-AIDS is not just a GLBT disease, but they have been scapegoated for it, but the blessing of the disease is providing and auditable trail of just how diverse human sexuality actually is. Poverty, conflict and justice are amplified when we look at how GLBTs are… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

Gladstone was a political realist and reformer, but he was also a devout Christian High Churchman, who spoke firmly against divorce. He had a strong conviction of sin , and would be appalled at liberal theology. In fact if he had seen what has unfurled in Anglicansim , i think he would have converted to Roman Catholicism.

L Roberts
L Roberts
12 years ago

I wonder if one of you could please recommend one or two books, to begin dipping into Gladstone ? Thanks

JCF
JCF
12 years ago

RIW: how the heck does this

“Gladstone was a political realist and reformer, but he was also a devout Christian High Churchman, who spoke firmly against divorce. He had a strong conviction of sin”

equate to THIS??? :-0

“[Gladstone] would be appalled at liberal theology. In fact if he had seen what has unfurled in Anglicansim , i think he would have converted to Roman Catholicism.”

Respectfully, I believe Gladstone would think such an equation is NUTS! ;-/

Ren Aguila
Ren Aguila
12 years ago

By the way, the big news is now that Gene Robinson’s non-invitation is final. I can imagine the joy over at the other places.

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
12 years ago

L Roberts: Roy Jenkins’ biography is pretty exhaustive.

toujoursdan
12 years ago

It’s a little bizarre that anyone would convert from Anglicanism to Catholicism with its different views of papal authority, the magisterium, the nature of the sacraments, grace, sin and redemption and the nature and role of Mary and the Saints, just to get away from openly gay people.

But people do bizarre things.

Graham Ward
Graham Ward
12 years ago

L Roberts – Roy Jenkins’ biography of Gladstone is excellent, and very readable.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

Gladstone had been evangelical as a young man, but was disillusioned after visting the Waldensaians,as he could not see historical continuity. He became a high churchman. He valued the sacraments and had a belief in Holy order.Despite his political liberalism, he would not tolerate theological liberalism that undermined his belief in the Catholicity of Anglicanism.

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

+Gene does this???

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
12 years ago

Robt Ian W: where you and I differ, I think, is that I believe that a catholicism which is realistic about gay people in the Church is actually in line with the spirit of the Oxford Movement. The thing that always strikes me about the Oxford Movement fathers, who were so close to Gladstone, is that they were unashamed to meet the intellectual challenges of their day head-on. They didn’t at all go in for the kind of issue-avoidance which is the chief characteristic of the Con Evo side of the current gay debate. Newman, Keble and many others of… Read more »

Prior Aelred
12 years ago

If I might interject, while it is anachronistic to speculate about what the position of persons of earlier historical eras might be to contemporary issues, it seems prudent to point out that, after reflection, frequently people change their minds (Gladstone certainly did) and that not all leaders of the Oxford Movement agreed about everything (obviously).

L Roberts
L Roberts
12 years ago

The thing that always strikes me about the Oxford Movement fathers, who were so close to Gladstone, is that they were unashamed to meet the intellectual challenges of their day head-on. They didn’t at all go in for the kind of issue-avoidance which is the chief characteristic of the Con Evo side of the current gay debate. Newman, Keble and many others of the Oxford Movement’s first generations would have been recognised as gay today (though I realise I am being anachronistic in applying the term – Geoffrey Faber did as much, though, in “Oxford Apostles” in the 1950s, if… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

The ultimate issue is authority. Did Christ found a visible church under the leadership of Peter. That is why evangelicals are nearer to liberals, and in fact they opened the door to female ordination and divorce.

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

The first question would be: Human authority?

And the answer By no means.

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
12 years ago

Robt Ian Williams: yes, you’re right about authority. I think you pays your money and you takes your choice. If the RC claim to absolute authority does the bizz for you, then you have to try to live within that framework. But to be an Anglican and yet also to try to claim RC authoritarianism is just counter to the natural order, to coin a phrase!

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