Thinking Anglicans

George Herbert and Hieronymus Bosch

Today is the day on which the Church of England commemorates George Herbert.

Justin Lewis-Anthony has published a series of articles on his blog under the title Killing George Herbert, arguing that:

For three hundred and fifty years the Church of England has been haunted by a pattern of parochial ministry, based upon a fantasy and untenable for more than a hundred of those years. The pattern, derived from a romantic and wrong-headed false memory of the life and ministry of George Herbert, finally died on the South Bank of the Thames in the mid 1960s… and nobody noticed…

Read KGH : Death to Herbertism for the rest of the introductory article, below which is a list of links to all the articles.

For today’s blog entry see KGH: Memento Mori II.

These articles are but a prelude to Justin’s book, which is coming soon, see If You Meet George Herbert on the Road, Kill Him: Radically Re-thinking Priestly Ministry.

Meanwhile, his other book, Circles of Thorns: Hieronymus Bosch and Being Human, is available and has been designated as Mowbray’s Lent Book 2009. Peter McGeary reviewed it recently for the Church Times.

Study guides are available starting here.

11
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
11 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
Edward PrebbleFord ElmsFather Ron SmithDouglas LewisJustin Lewis-Anthony Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Simon Kershaw
Admin

Justin is presumably after publicity with a title as provocative as that. I suppose the best response is to politely ignore it.

Justin Lewis-Anthony
Guest

Well that was pointedly, and unnecessarily, aggressive Simon (or did you miss out the irony tag?). Of COURSE I’m after publicity, if by that you mean, I would like as many people as possible to read my book, because I think that the ideas contained in it are important, substantiated, and constructive. This is 85,000 words (with footnotes for God’s sake!) on how the church is driving its clergy into the ground with a misplaced, misremembered, misbegotten misuse of George Herbert’s life and work. However, please feel free to have an opinion about my work before, during, after (or instead… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Thanks for the links. Food for thought, as the folk saying goes. Digging into things like this is a key fulcrum part of what called me to TEC in the first place during college. Gee, no, I do not mean that other Fulcrum. Not open enough, that other one. Who does not want to be part of a worshipping community where things get looked at, investigated, sorted …with open ends and with specific scholarship? And very little time spent framing it all with reasons why believers do not have to face challenges because they already are safely and finally and… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“(and may his false memory stop bugging those of us who are left to follow in his footsteps!) – Justin Lewis-Anthony – This scurrillous aside, addended by J.L-A after his publication of the Collect commemorating the life of Anglican Divine, Geroge Herbert, is a clue to what might follow in this priestly author’s summation of the value of a much-loved priest and poet of the Church of England. Having celebrated the memory of George Herbert at the Mass of the Day in New Zealand, in the presence of two of Herbert’s descendants, it is rather unsettling to read such a… Read more »

Ren Aguila
Guest
Ren Aguila

I do hope that those who will comment (and have commented) took the trouble to read the entire Killing George Herbert series. Some of us have read it and have seen something worth thinking about, and indeed, it is worth reading whether or not one agrees with Fr. Justin’s concerns about the multivalent parish priest model.

It does make one wonder whether this site is still called “Thinking Anglicans.” For the first time, I suppose, such a comment is being made outside the contexts of the problems of the Anglican Communion.

Justin Lewis-Anthony
Guest
Justin Lewis-Anthony

How wonderfully pompous of you, Fr Ron. I am glad that you were able to celebrate a requiem in the presence of two of Herbert’s descendants. I am sure that makes it all the more valid. However, your pomposity prevented you from seeing the important word in my “scurrilous” aside: namely: “false”. It is a *false* memory of Herbert which is the burden to Anglican parochial ministry today, and it is the *false* memory which I describe on my blog and in my book. However, please don’t let the actuality of what I have written get in the way of… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Could someone explain what the model of priesthood is that is so contentious?

Douglas Lewis
Guest
Douglas Lewis

If the blog entries represent it fairly, this is another incoherent book.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Could someone explain what the model of priesthood is that is so contentious?” – Ford Elms Ford, perhaps your question here should be better tackled by author Justin Lewis-Anthony, whose thesis is that George Herbert’s model of priestly ministry in the C.of E. is no longer tenable in the Anglican Church of today. However, in the New Zealand publication: ‘For All The Saints’, used by the Anglican Church in N.Z., there is a short summary ‘for liturgical use’ of Herbert’s life in the following words: quote – ‘George Herbert was a classical scholar and gifted musician who gave up a… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“that George Herbert’s model of priestly ministry in the C.of E. is no longer tenable in the Anglican Church of today.”

Yes, but what IS Herbert’s model? I have little truck with the “Oh, that’s old fashioned, it has no place in the ‘modern’ Church.” It strikes me as arrogant silliness. “Oh, we moderns are so much better than those dirty peasants who thought the world was flat.” All the same, I might agree with Justin if I knew what he was talking about.

Edward Prebble
Guest
Edward Prebble

Justin Unlike my good old friend Fr Ron (we really have been friends for a long time: when Ron was a thurifer in my father’s church in the 1950’s, I was his boat-boy!) I have read your postings. That is, I read the ones about GH, I got a bit bogged down once you moved onto ++’s Ramsay and Williams. I think you are onto something very important and profound – thank you for your insights and provocative way of expressing them. I am sure you are right about the myth of Herbertism. I have been doing some reflections on… Read more »