Thinking Anglicans

What is the Global South?

Michael Poon has published an essay on Global South Anglican which is titled The Global South Anglican: its origins and development.

Several bloggers, including Ruth Gledhill here, have drawn attention to his comments on GAFCON:

There is however a persistent undercurrent within “Global South Anglican” that defines itself doctrinally against the wider Anglican Communion, and posits itself against “liberal leadership” in the Church of England and the Episcopal Church. The primates of Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are at the centre stage of the transatlantic conflicts in the Communion. Strictly speaking, they are true to the “global South” spirit (and methodologies). The GAFCON movement that suddenly erupted in late December 2007 brought this undercurrent to the surface. Doctrinal matters are not central to GAFCON. It is telling that Archbishop Peter Jensen did not clarify what “Biblical Anglican Christianity” entails. (He was silent on whether such biblical Anglican beliefs, for example, include particular views on ordination of women and lay presidency at the Holy Communion.) The central issue is in fact the restructuring of the Communion. It would be reconfigured by the geopolitics of globalisation and of the “global South”. Transnational alliances – with the aim in expanding interests through border crossing – replace geographical dioceses and historic ties as the building blocks of the Communion, and with the same stroke dethrone Canterbury as the focus of unity. This of course is in line with Hassett’s earlier analysis.

GAFCON holds before the Communion a new and unfamiliar utopia that is post-modern to its core. Webmasters and web bloggers render synodical processes irrelevant. They preside over web blogs in the virtual worlds of their own fabrication. Its power in shaping public opinion on ecclesiastical authorities simply cannot be ignored. A communion that is no longer dependent on patient face-to-face encounters and governed by geographical proximity: it is a Gnostic gospel that renders the Cross in vain.

Dr Poon refers repeatedly to the work of Miranda Hassett. See here for details of her book, Anglican Communion in Crisis: How Episcopal Dissidents and Their African Allies Are Reshaping Anglicanism, which as I have said elsewhere is essential reading.

Reviews of this book can be found in the Christian Century by Sam Wells, see Anglican maneuvers, and in the Church Times by Mary Tanner, see How a new global network spread. Also see Alan Wilson’s comments here.

The original PhD thesis Episcopal Dissidents, African Allies: The Anglican Communion and the Globalization of Dissent is here as a 1.1 Mb PDF file.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
36 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mary Beth
Mary Beth
12 years ago

I’d guess that the GAFCON movement “erupted” in December 2007, not 2008… Unless we’re time-travelling, in which case we’d already know what happened at GAFCON and Lambeth, so why bother holding either? 😉

david wh
david wh
12 years ago

All that +Rowan has to do to get the Global South back on board for Lambeth is to disinvite TEC’s bishops, unless they personally renounce the consecration of Gene Robinson.

He could expect another “short, sharp exchange of views” from some of the smaller, liberal, provinces, and a couple of english Bishops, but they would still come to Lambeth… WHERE ELSE DO THEY HAVE TO GO?

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

Michael Poon wrote: “Strictly speaking, they are true to the “global South” spirit (and methodologies). – Doctrinal matters are not central to GAFCON. It is telling that Archbishop Peter Jensen did not clarify what “Biblical Anglican Christianity” entails. (He was silent on whether such biblical Anglican beliefs, for example, include particular views on ordination of women and lay presidency at the Holy Communion.) The central issue is in fact the restructuring of the Communion. It would be reconfigured by the geopolitics of globalisation and of the “global South”.” Just now, on the TEC HoB/D list Canon (North Carolina) of T… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
12 years ago

It seems Ruth just cannot accept how deeply she has been deceived.

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
12 years ago

David wh: “unless they personally renounce the consecration of Gene Robinson” – what planet are you on here? Have you any idea how deeply unAnglican such a way of speaking is? We are not a Church which demands of individuals that they make such statements – you want to go to the RC Church or extreme Protestant sects if dramatic renunciations are your forte, but they are not the genius of the Church of England. I wish people who make statements would stop trying to take over the C of E: we are, and long have been, the liberal option… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
12 years ago

Mary Beth
You are of course quite right, and the original has now had this typo corrected, and I am about to change my quotation to match.

Stephen Roberts
Stephen Roberts
12 years ago

David wh: “All that +Rowan has to do to get the Global South back on board for Lambeth is to disinvite TEC’s bishops, unless they personally renounce the consecration of Gene Robinson.” Even if the TEC bishops were to crawl on broken glass to each of the GAFCONites, it would not be enough. Appeasement will not work here, it is disingenuous to suggest otherwise. It isn’t surprising that GAFCON isn’t about Doctrine, because even a cursory examination of the agitators shows no communal ecclesiology. After the split, the (would be) wolves will soon turn on each other because the one… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
12 years ago

“GAFCON holds before the Communion a new and unfamiliar utopia that is post-modern to its core.” Actually it’s been around a lot longer than GAFCON, it’s just until the internet and legal protection against brutal genocides and church repression, we didn’t know it was going on. An isolated/murdered nobody in one diocese, unable to link to another isolated/abused member in another diocese in another country can draw no patterns. The fear of financial sanctions through law suits prevents outright murder, and the internet enables victims to share their stories. GLBTs have common experiences that are not unique to them, and… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
12 years ago

“All that +Rowan has to do to get the Global South back on board for Lambeth is to disinvite TEC’s bishops, unless they personally renounce the consecration of Gene Robinson.”

And if they were to do that–which they won’t–what happens to the Diocese of New Hampshire? Because I can assure you the people of that diocese are not going to accept that their duly elected/duly consecrated bishop isn’t a bishop.

david wh
david wh
12 years ago

FrMark, I might ask which C of E you are living in? All the large and growing parishes are evangelical and nearly all are in sympathy with, or actually have direct connections with, the Global South. Liberal parishes on the other hand tend to be small and dying out. And all clergy must affirm they hold to the apostolic catholiic faith, and affirm your commitment to living according to biblical morality, when you are ordained and each time they take a new post. That means either celibacy or marriage – as spelled out by the House of Bishops in “Issues”… Read more »

Kurt
Kurt
12 years ago

“Unless you are planning to clamp down on the remarriage of divorcees and the use of contraception, and introduce oaths of celibacy for the clergy (I for one have never taken one, and resent being treated as if I had!), then the C of E is going to remain the intelligent liberal option, n’est-ce pas?”– Fr Mark

Right on, Father Mark!

JPM
JPM
12 years ago

>>>I wish people who make statements would stop trying to take over the C of E

The greatest irony of this whole soap opera, yet the one most seldom discussed, is how the very least Anglican among us are the ones most determined to take over Anglicanism.

EPfizH
EPfizH
12 years ago

From Ruth Gledhill: “Chris Sugden’s response to Poon’s essay was understandably sniffy.’Canon Dr Michael Poon appears not to know what the GAFCON Pilgrimage really is, and has exercised a creative imagination on this. His view therefore gives no basis for a reasonable comment,’ he told me.” Ruth has particular access to conservative, and in particular, GAFCON sources. (Chris Sugden’s daughter Joanna works for Ruth Gledhill) What is sadly missing here is Sugden’s explanation of the meaning of GAFCON. When +Akinola was challenged by +Jerusalem for bringing essentially a divisive conference to Jerusalem, and, in accordance with the minutes of their… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
12 years ago

“He could expect another “short, sharp exchange of views” from some of the smaller, liberal, provinces, and a couple of english Bishops, but they would still come to Lambeth… WHERE ELSE DO THEY HAVE TO GO?”- david wh You have to really feel sorry for David, who seems so delusional as to not recognize that it is clear that Brasil, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Scotland, South Africa, United States, and Wales, plus most of Australia and New Zealand, plus much of several Asian provinces, plus at least a third of England (maybe half?) are not the minor players he would like… Read more »

david wh
david wh
12 years ago

LibTEC’s Bishops may not be willing to reject as Bishops people who are breaking Christian moral laws on sexual behaviour, but they were mighty reluctant to consent to the consecration of a non-liberal Bishops!

B W
B W
12 years ago

Fr Mark, I think it is only too easy for any of us to read with blinkers on. Much of the time that is what I see on this list and I have just been letting it pass, but I would hope the orientation to the real and true will somehow reassert itself (I have seen it in you at times). Of course after the fact it cannot be a simple matter of renunciation of “Gene Robinson.” It will take a renewed sense of awareness and realization that one now hardly dares hope for (e.g. it took centuries for Arians… Read more »

Malcolm+
12 years ago

David said: “they were mighty reluctant to consent to the consecration of a non-liberal Bishops!” FALSE. The original delay to in the consents for Bishop Lawrence were due to comments he had made which were thought by some to advocate schism. Once his clarification was offered, the consents proceeded apace. Then, entirely without canonical authority I might add, the Presiding Bishop extended the deadline by a weekend to give standing committees the opportunity to provide their consents. The initial denial was driven by an unintended technicality, and in spite of +KJS’s attempts to facilitate the necessary consents. When Lawrence’s name… Read more »

Gareth Morgan
Gareth Morgan
12 years ago

This site is always at its most illuminating when frequented by someone from one of the other many rooms of the Father’s house. David Wh/GAFCON/Oak Hill/Wycliffe/Church Society et al of course come from such a room. At the risk of some stereotyping, their room is one marked with the words “dogmatic” and “certainty”. This extends to moral certainty, theological certainty and biblical certainty. David Wh makes the comment that it is his room and other neighbouring rooms that are growing in the Father’s House and that others are less populated. He may have a point. After all, today’s society is… Read more »

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
12 years ago

David Wh: there is a kind of sneery triumphalism that appears whenever Con Evos start talking about numbers in pews. I do know plenty of Con Evo churches that are very unsuccessful numbers-wise, and I often feel sorry for their clergy, as they must get sneered at by their fellow Evangelicals even more than the rest of us do. I don’t it is worth arguing on that level, really. The chickens will come home to roost eventually: I just don’t believe that homophobic religion has a future as anything mainstream in Europe, simply because I keep my ear to the… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
12 years ago

To continue Gareth’s posting There are some who are flooding this sight purporting liberalism to be more tolerant than it is. No one on TA has ever condoned or advocated for pedophilia, genital mutilation of pubescent females, polygamy or adultery. But then facts and a fair hearing have never been a hindrance for those whose ultimate desire is the extermination of all life on this planet (they won’t recognise Jesus unless he kills this planet and replaces it with a “new heaven and earth”). Luke 18:8 “…when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Not… Read more »

Malcolm+
12 years ago

“All the large and growing parishes are evangelical and nearly all are in sympathy with, or actually have direct connections with, the Global South. Liberal parishes on the other hand tend to be small and dying out.” I know of conservative churches that are large and growing. I know of conservative churches that are small and declining. Likewise, I know of liberal churches that are large and growing and others that are small and declining. The common denominator among large and growing churches is not a rigid Victorianism, nor is it a fundamentalist ideology. It is, rather, an outward focus.… Read more »

Commentator
Commentator
12 years ago

My apologies – but I haven’t had time to read all that came out of the last meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England. Did the three Houses pass a resolution to accept the HoB paper ‘Issues in Human Sexuality’ and make it definitive of moral and theological teaching in the C of E? One of the contributors seems to present it that way. Or does he simply have a very ‘high’ view of documents produced by the HoB?

david wh
david wh
12 years ago

Fr Mark I dont think that attitudes to homosexuality are the major stumbling block to people joining EvCon churches. There are much bigger counter-cultural issues (role of women, exclusive claims to truth, ban on sex outside marriage, rejection of a woman’s right to choose abortion, expectation of serious committment to the church, etc etc) Anglican EvCons *aren’t* homophobic in the sense of hating, fearing or thinking that people with lgbt sexual orientations are worse than the rest of us… You may be surprised to know that there are ‘lgbt’ people in EvCon churches too — but they believe in lives… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
12 years ago

“I find it hard to believe that you don’t know that same-sex sex is consistently banned in both Old and New Testaments. Homosexuality is seen as a disorder of natural sexuality…”

And modern science tells us that is incorrect. Just as it tells us that it is incorrect that the sun circles the earth, or that the universe is less than 6000 years old, or that each species was created separately, rather than evolving from other species.

We have accepted…as Anglicans…all those other scientific concepts, even though they distinctly contradict Scripture. Why is this particular contradiction so different?

david wh
david wh
12 years ago

Pat, No, the discussion is about how you define ‘disordered’. A modern definition looks at harm and associated problems; the biblcal definition looks at God’s intention.. per the last paragraph of my last post. Science can assess something against a particular definition. Deciding which definition to use is a matter for ethicists. But I think that the much higher rate of STDs among MSM suggests that same-sex attraction is strongly associated with unsafe behaviours (not always of course) which should worry everybody. ps Commentator, I don’t have a high view of HoB documents but “Issues” was in fact more liberal… Read more »

Ren Aguila
Ren Aguila
12 years ago

Pat and David:

Why homosexuality/heterosexuality? I suggest that it is because the very survival of the human race across the generations depends on it.

So is environmentalism, but it’s only recently that the Evangelicals have joined liberals on that bandwagon…

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
12 years ago

“Pat, No, the discussion is about how you define ‘disordered’. A modern definition looks at harm and associated problems; the biblcal definition looks at God’s intention.. per the last paragraph of my last post.” And, again, I have to ask–if being homosexual is not a choice, and is something inherent to the individual, and therefore is a part of the way God made that individual–why would a loving God create an inherently “disordered” being? Clearly God intended him to be the way he is. “Science can assess something against a particular definition. Deciding which definition to use is a matter… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

David Wh wrote: “Pat, No, the discussion is about how you define ‘disordered’. Not a Biblical definition, certainly. Not a Biblical Concept. A Biblical discussion cannot be about alien Concepts. Nor is any kind of Concept of “Nature” Biblical. God is outside nature. The Creator of all things. It’s Philosophical, Gnosticist. There were several such; the Stoics’ un-differenced Concept of “Nature” (katà/parà fúsin; along/besides nature, ranging from the un-usual (bad) to the existing… (OK) cf Romans 1 and 11, and the Platonists’ negative Concept of “Nature” (nature being a no-no to be shun at all costs, cf Clement’s Fables and… Read more »

Gareth Morgan
Gareth Morgan
12 years ago

David wh: “same sex attraction is strongly associated with unsafe behaviours”. Your fundamentalist world view clearly leads you to make dangerous assumptions based on a narrow view of information. Do you similarly hold that because proportionately more black people get arrested they are unsafe or do you see that as being more complicated? That perhaps there might be a complicated set of societal and other factors at play. Implicit in your statement above is your prejudiced assumption that all same sex relationships are based only on the physical and that whom this is with is not important. To go back… Read more »

Alcibiades
12 years ago

“All the large and growing parishes are evangelical”

No, David wh – they’re not – at least not where I live, no matter how much propaganda and rhetoric you might have heard to the contrary.

And I live in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney…

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
12 years ago

Nor where I live…Diocese of Pennsylvania. In fact, one of the most conservative, evangelical parishes in the area just closed its doors, having declined to a membership of just 35!

OTOH, two moderately liberal parishes–my own and one just “next door”–are growing and thriving. We’ve added two dozen families over the past three years and our pledges have doubled in a decade.

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
12 years ago

David Wh: when is a marriage not a marriage? The RC church in, for example, Spain or Belgium does not accept the civil marriage of gay couples as valid marriages, you are correct. But then, neither does it accept the civil marriages of divorcees in those countries, which must be a high proportion of those civil marriages which, presumably, you yourself would accept as valid. Do you actually go around telling divorced and remarried people that they are living in sin? Or do you approve of their remarrying in some cases but not in others, in which case, do you… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

“… despite very concerted efforts by the RC Church to mobilise Catholics against it…”

They have mobilised the Opus Dei against it (forming about a 5th of the Spanish church organisation 20 Bishops) coming in busses from all parts of the country to Plaza de Cibéles…

This, bringing awareness of the Spanish realities of the past century into focus, surely is an important factor in their failure ; = )

david wh
david wh
12 years ago

david wh: “the much higher rate of STDs among MSM suggests that same-sex attraction is strongly associated with unsafe behaviours (not always of course) which should worry everybody.”

Having just been worrying about the risks from unsafe behaviours I think this is very poignant: We heard the other day from a friend who has been in a ‘stable’ same-sex relationship for years; he’s recently been diagnosed with Hepatitis C and given 10 years to live.

Gareth Morgan
Gareth Morgan
12 years ago

Very sorry to hear the news of your friend, but what’s your point David?

Did you realise that it is easier to contract Hep C from sharing razors, toothbrushes and other grooming items like toe clippers and fingernail cutters than it is through sexual contact be that homosexual or heterosexual?

You need to get out more, instead of allowing your prejudices to brew.

God bless

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
12 years ago

Yes Gareth Morgan, believe it, we queer people also caused Hurricane Katrina, didn’t you know?

36
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x