Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 24 June 2020

Fergus Butler-Gallie The Critic Oxford is fallen
“What do they know of faith who only multi-faith spaces know?”

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Has Trump made the word ‘Evangelical’ toxic?

Ruth Worsley ViaMedia.News We Can’t Go Back…to Ignoring Those We Do Not See

Daniel French The Spectator Could an underground church now emerge in Britain?

St Chrysostom’s Church News and Views Black Saints Matter

Peter Webster Webstory The churches and the future of theological research

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Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
11 days ago

“The Church has fallen into the trap articulated by C. S. Lewis: ‘Aim at heaven and you will get Earth thrown in, aim at earth and you will get neither.’ “   I don’t find Daniel French’s analysis convincing. But then I am one of those liberals he seems to blame. I think the problems are far more nuanced than he gives credit for. To begin with I disagree with C S Lewis. The point about the incarnation/resurrection narrative is that heaven is wedded to earth – they are not to be thought of as separate.   I’m not at… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
11 days ago

Daniel French make his point well. But then he refers to “wokeism” and “politically correct barbarians”. This really is entry level stuff. If he’s serious – and I’m not sure he is – he should have added “do-gooders”, “bleeding heart liberals” and other “yours disgustedly, Eastbourne” epithets.

Froghole
Froghole
11 days ago

A very interesting post by Peter Webster: “the question that needs to be faced is: why should the state fund the former kind of work that only Christians would recognise as being of any value? …It seems to me that the answer to this particular question is likely to become more and more firmly negative as time goes on.”   When all non-STEM subjects are under financial pressure, student fees have become insupportable and many universities are facing insolvency, the position of the ‘queen of the sciences’ must surely be imperilled. Who would wish to study a subject at such… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

As Froghole says: “As theological faculties in the UK have become secularised, it has become increasingly difficult for theology to be presented to students of any kind…as a species of apologetics. If it is not apologetic, then it is perhaps: (i) an adjunct of philosophy…”   Philosopher CEM Joad [1891-1953] attempted a Restatement of Christian Philosophy as an apologetic in his final book ‘Recovery of Belief’, but acknowledged his failure to do so in the final chapters:   http://anglican.ink/2020/06/15/the-christian-philosophy-of-c-e-m-joad-and-his-concept-of-personality-and-the-soul/#comments   It is interesting to note, perhaps, that academic publishers Springer do not include Theology in their very long list of… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
10 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

The Archbishops Examination in Theology offers a relatively inexpensive and flexible way of studying for an M.Phil or PhD.

ACI
ACI
10 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

For someone apparently watching this from ‘outside’, this is a very perceptive comment. I just skimmed the BA report. I taught for ten years at Yale, came to St Andrews for nine years, and am now in Toronto in my 14th year. I have watched developments inside the field for more than 40 years (I began my training in 1977). Each of these institutions have distinctive cultural and demographic features. But what you write challenges them all. Who knows what the long-term affect will be. The Yale faculty in the 70s-80s was still meaningfully connected to the institution of the… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
10 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Your fourth paragraph with the opener, “The question is what is ‘theology’?” is interesting. Perhaps Plato was right i.e. in the absence of a universal definition one must settle for examples. The late Bernard Lonergan SJ, introduction to Method in Theology, begins, “A Theology mediates between a cultural matrix and the significance and role of religion in that matrix.” Such is a basic insight, one not unique to Lonergan; but he puts it well and developed an overarching framework to contend with theological reflection in a multi-cultural world.   Signaling on the same wave length Lonergan years ago addressed the… Read more »

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
10 days ago

reflecting on Interfaith spaces, from what I have seen of these Interfaith spaces or chapels whatever one wants to call them, having seen some of them passing through airports or on Hospital visits to others, or the Second University I studied at doing a Post-Graduate certificate, I think a lot of them are a nonsense! They can do a great dis-service to all faiths and be insult to all faiths and fail to take any tradition seriously at all and reduce every tradition to the lowest common denominator and can be saying “All Religions are the same but none are… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
10 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal

What would you suggest a secular hospital, say, do to provide a space for prayer and reflection, both for patients and family? Obviously, a separate space for each faith is patently impossible. Is nothing at all preferable to you?
 

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
10 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

Good Afternoon Pat! I do hope you are keeping well and safe! I know from past reading of newspapers for example at a lot of Airports, whilst having a Christian Ecumenical chapel (where there all the requisites available for denominational worship, like Robes, Vestments.Liturgical Books, christian symbols etc), they also provide an Airport mosque for Muslims and a Synagogue for Jews, and a place where the different Eastern Religions can have their prayers. I believe that if people of different denominational or non Christian Religions see that something is important to their respective traditions they will be willing to generously… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
10 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal

Airports have a great deal more leeway with their space than hospitals do, I think. Opening another chapel or synagogue in an airport terminal simply means eliminating another shop or the like. Creating such an additional space in a hospital probably means eliminating another laboratory or other necessary function of the hospital.   I don’t know how it is in the UK, but major hospitals in urban areas in the US are strapped for space. There simply isn’t room to expand for hospitals in NYC like Bellevue or Lenox Hill. They are hemmed in on all sides by expensive privately… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
10 days ago

Thanks for the link to, Black Saints Matter. The history of making saints and appointing commemorations has always had political and cultural components. See the calendar of the Anglican Church of Canada –everything from Charles Stuart to Marie de l’incarnation to Simon Gibbons. The Roman Catholic Church has made two recent popes saints. Saints are about values and culture. To make a person visible as a Saint is to make their values visible and worthy of emulation.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
10 days ago

As far the question of Theology in Universities is concerned, when I was studying Theology and Religious Studies in the University of Gloucestershire, from 1999 to 2002, the University (formerly the Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education), had just acquired University Status in 2001. It had its roots in an Evangelical Foundation, founded by Francis Close, who later became Dean of Carlisle, it started as a training institute, than went on to be the Colleges of St Mary and St Paul, both teacher training Colleges, merging to become an University College of H.E, before attaining full University Status. Over… Read more »

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