Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 26 August 2020

Charlie Bell Anglicanism.org Defining ecclesiology – alarming developments in the Church of England
Do read the full article, which is here.

Edward Dowler All Things Lawful And Honest Safety First
“It sometimes feels like the Church’s and Government’s response to COVID is governed by thinking that is not much more complex than the axiom ‘Safety First’. Edward Dowler explores what principles might undergird a more theologically robust and pastorally honest response to our present crisis.”

Rowan Williams New Statesman Covid and confronting our own mortality
“The pandemic has forced us to confront the issue of death: how do we think about dying, and what does it mean for how we live?”

Kevin Makins Experimental Theology Church is Gross

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Savi Hensman
Savi Hensman
25 days ago

Some excellent, thought-provoking articles, apart from Edward Dowler’s, which would appear to take issue with those too saddened by 65,000 excess deaths (often in circumstances of intense suffering not mitigated by the presence of loved ones or adequate medical care) and over-keen to prevent yet more or who do not value the virus enough as part of creation! Though of course we should all face our mortality, in families and communities worst hit by COVID-19, the effects have been devastating; and the same argument could be only slightly adapted to challenge those putting considerable effort into countering drunk driving, terrorism,… Read more »

Jill Armstead
Jill Armstead
24 days ago
Reply to  Savi Hensman

Have you read the linked article by a priest who really knows what she is talking about?

https://southwarkcofe.tumblr.com/post/620159175611318272/covid-19-from-the-viewpoint-of-a-scientist-who-is

Kate
Kate
25 days ago

“And yet, surely as Christians we should feel instinctively uncomfortable with the language of an all-out war against any aspect of created existence – viruses included, which, as well as transmitting diseases have their own place in the universe and in some contexts beneficial effects.” I surely will not be the only one who struggles with that statement. I am drawn to this headline, “Polio driven out of Africa after three decade battle” which has been in the news over the past couple of days. (From https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/polio-driven-out-of-africa-after-three-decade-battle-n3jfkxxz8 ) How can we not rejoice at the news? ‘Battle’ seems an aposite… Read more »

Charles Clapham
25 days ago

Excellent article by Charlie Bell. Good to have people like him prepared to keep raising these issues – even if (one fears) his comments will fall on deaf ears.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
24 days ago

I think the biggest thing Dowler misses is that humankind’s intelligence, its ability to understand and use science, is equally a part of creation. If God did not intend us to use those abilities to protect ourselves and others, why does he allow it at all?

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
24 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

Viruses and their amazing ability to reproduce are also part of God’s creation. He allows them to run amok and cause untold misery. It would be a strange god who discovered our scientific attempts to defeat them and then caused us to stop it.

Stanley Monkhouse
24 days ago

When will we humans realise that we are but creatures of this earth like all others? When will we humans see that thinking that we are special in the eyes of a skypixie leads to human arrogance, hubris and despoilation of the planet? “If all viruses suddenly disappeared, the world would be a wonderful place for about a day and a half, and then we’d all die” according to epidemiologist Tony Goldberg (University of Wisconsin-Madison). All the essential things they do far outweigh those that harm humans. Many viruses play integral roles in propping up ecosystems. Others maintain the health… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
24 days ago

Have you been vaccinated for small pox? Have your kids or grandkids been vaccinated for measles, mumps, chicken pox, rubella? If so, why, if you think viruses are only doing God’s work? And why only viruses? How about bacteria? Shall we ban the use of anti-bacterial products? Shall doctors cease to sterilize their equipment?

Savi Hensman
Savi Hensman
23 days ago

There is a difference between saying that all viruses and indeed bacteria are creatures of Satan and using humankind’s God-given capabilities for empathy and reason to prevent the spread of a particular virus or bacterium. I also do not see high levels of suffering and death through disease among already disadvantaged communities across the world as something in which to rejoice: better education and greater security for the poor, along with government policies which protect the planet, are far better ways to reduce population growth.

Stanley Monkhouse
23 days ago
Reply to  Savi Hensman

I wish people would read what I write.

Savi Hensman
Savi Hensman
22 days ago

Sorry, should not have used the word ‘rejoice’, rather accept as inevitable (‘there are too many people on the planet. Viruses are doing the what-comes-naturally. Nature will takes its course’). I might also point out that when bubonic plague wiped out many millions of people in the 14th century, the population was far lower (and the effects might have been even worse without efforts made to reduce spread, sometimes through self-sacrifice).

David Rowett
David Rowett
23 days ago

Strikes me that we’re into the realm of the yetser hara’ /yetser hattob of rabbinic theology. The paradoxical ambiguity of existence is just one of those things – survival depends on predation or mortality of one sort or another, and the same capacity for mutation as causes some nasty diseases nonetheless enables those evolutionary processes which brought into being creatures able to agonise over the paradox. For for another example, the processes which generate earth’s magnetic field, thus shielding us from cosmic radiation, are also those which drive vulcanicity and seismic activity. To dub a process ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is… Read more »

Last edited 23 days ago by David Rowett
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