on Wednesday, 15 June 2022 at 10.58 am by Peter Owen
categorised as Opinion
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Allegations of Bullying and Financial Mismanagement in Scotland
Fergus Butler-Gallie The Spectator In defence of meddlesome priests
Ephraim Radner The Living Church Is there a Rationale for the Anclican Communion?
Ephraim Radner focuses on the need for a ‘thick’ rationale that supports a ‘thick’ rather than a ‘thin’ Anglican Communion. I prefer the ‘thin places’ of my Celtic spiritual tradition.
The word ‘Thick’ speaks to me – in the North American context from which Ephraim Radner comes – of people like Donald Trump, whose support for Christianity is shown in his works. Is this the sort of ‘thickness’ the Anglican Communion needs? I, like you, Rod, prefer the ‘thin places’, where God might better be found. (Thickness has a tendency to curdle).
If ‘Thickness’ means the continuing inclusion of homophobia, misogyny and sexism within the Anglican Communion, then shedding ourselves of these elements might better suit the ‘Unity in Diversity’ ethic of what I regard as Anglican(ism)
I agree with you Ron. Mr. Radner writes about thickness this and Pentecostalism that; but this article continues as an apologetic for the socially conservative agenda this author has always advanced. His article pitches yet again the Anglican Covenant, support for ACNA, fellowship for some but ‘defellowship’ others. Radner is welcome to his authoritarian ecclesiology. He suggests the church can order itself anew. Well we’ve done that in Canada with the availability of same sex marriage. Not the kind of ordering anew he has in mind I’m sure. Radner points to ecumenism and mentions one of the ARCIC conversations. There… Read more »
Just out of interest, how many Anglicans are there in Canada to make such a demand of the rest of the worldwide church?
A rhetorical question, you know, like “How many divisions does the pope have?
Partly that, but also an observation that it’s probably not a good look for western liberals to stamp their feet and demand things of others.
Well Father, I would suggest that one needs to look elsewhere for the foot stamping and breath holding that is happening. Canada, which punches well above its weight in The Communion, should demand that its integrity and autonomy be respected. I just wish our hierarchy were less solicitous about it. The ‘world wide church’ is a conservative frame of convenience. It longer exists–indeed if it ever did. As Jacques Ellul wrote about rhetoric, “The less a thing exists the more the void has to be covered up by grandiloquence.” (translation by E. E. Hopkin).
Above should read “It no longer exists–if indeed it ever did” I’m like uncle Screwtape, enthusiasm sometimes causes metamorphosis . Lol!
This sounds like the numerological boasting of the militants of the Global South. “We have more Anglicans than the ACC, therefore, we claim to be the only ‘orthodox’ Anglicans!”. The Christian religion is not about ‘Bums on Seats’, but about humility, justice, love and mercy – the attributes of Jesus Christ – for which he was crucified by religious conservatives! Christians are called to be yeast, not the thickness of the dough!
What “worldwide church”?
There is no such thing in Anglicanism.
Spot on, Rod. Mr Radner is not a typical Episcopalian. His history speaks of an ethos more like the secessionists in ACNA/GAFCON. Pope Francis has a similar sort of problem with the Vatican2-deniers. The world has moved on from 39-Articular religion, “Hear what the Spirit is saying to The Church!”
I would guess Radner’s use of word “thick” here is an allusion to the notion of “thick description” as popularised across the social sciences by Clifford Geertz.
You may have guessed right. However, the first thing I thought of was ‘thin places’, as noted. The second thing I thought of, plodding through his piece, was Jethro Tull’s, Thick as a Brick.