REVIEW: Anthony Swindell, Going to Extremes in Biblical Rewritings: Radical Literary Retellings of Biblical Tropes

Jonathan Clatworthy writes in his review: This book illustrates the literary reception of the Bible. The ‘extremes’ are the freedom which many writers bring to rewriting biblical stories. Some rewritings are antagonistic to the biblical text, the ‘hypotext’. Some use it as a departure point for a quite different development. Some amplify the hypotext, some condense it. There are prequels and sequels. Some change the tone, making it tragic or comic. Some give greater emphasis to minor biblical characters, or introduce new characters. Sometimes the viewpoint of the narration changes. For example The Dream of the Rood moves the viewpoint of the Crucifixion from that of an onlooker to that of the cross. ...

The frog in the pan – reflections on the ‘culture of church’

Bishop Robert Paterson writes: “Increasingly, the culture of ‘church’, particularly in those churches that are old and hard of hearing, is alien to most people. Most people do not customarily gather on Sunday mornings to sing in chorus with others, handling books (let alone several of them), sitting on wooden benches in cool buildings, ...

In the 75th year anniversary of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – a perspective on the emergence of BRICS in a changing world

Bishop Trevor Mwamba, President of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Zambia writes: The German word, Zeitgeist, aptly describes the emergence of BRICS grouping of nations. Zeitgeist encapsulates the spirit or mood of a particular period of history rooted in the ideas and beliefs of the time. ...

2024-03-08T18:16:50+00:00By |

Open Letter on Assisted Dying 27th September 2023

Rabbi Jonathan Romain (Chair - Dignity in Dying) writes an Open Letter: Dear colleagues, If you have not already come across them, I thought you might like to see two news items: ...

2024-03-08T18:18:25+00:00By |

Editorial: The next forty years and the end of mainstream Christianity?

The Editor, the Rev'd Dr. Nicholas Henderson writes: According to an article recently published in the U.K. Church Times an analysis of R-number modelling, as used during the Covid crisis, which calculates the growth or contraction rates of events and institutions, has given the Church of England a “reproduction potential” R number of 0.9. In short this means that at current rate of decline the Church will cease to exist in 2062. ...

REVIEW: The Precarious Church – Redeeming the Body of Christ by Martyn Percy

Sebastian Satkurunath writes: I wanted to like this book; I really did. The stated premise, that church is at its best when it is outward focused and trusting in God to provide rather than prioritising its own security in the form of financial resources and numerical growth, is a compelling and appealing one, and thoroughly in the spirit of the sermon of the mount (Mt 6.25-34). What’s more, there are clearly many ways in which the Church of England fails to meet this ideal, ...

Comprehensive Anglicanism: antipodean initiatives

Bishop Stephen Pickard writes: In 2023 a number of concerned Anglicans from around Australia formed the National Comprehensive Anglicanism Network (NCAN). At the heart of this initiative was a concern for the church’s unity and witness to the gospel in a time of controversy, fracture and division. With this in mind NCAN has been established to support communication across local churches, agencies and individuals; to encourage grass roots Anglicans through resources relevant to Anglican life, ...

2024-03-08T18:21:42+00:00By |Tags: |

The rise and rise of autocracy

The Editor - The Rev'd Dr. Nicholas Henderson writes: Democracy is the de jure status of the world with only Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Brunei, Afghanistan and the Vatican not claiming that system. The question must therefore arise as to what democracy really is? ...

Addressing God … Guest Editorial

Guest Editor, Michael Collins writes: It has been well observed that fidelity to tradition must be a creative fidelity. That prompts me as an historian to reflect on what tradition really is and how it comes to be. This question is of fundamental importance to those Anglicans especially who locate themselves in the catholic wing of the Church, since Tradition along with the Bible and Reason, serves as one of the sources of Anglican theology supplementary to Scripture and hence to teaching and practice. Thus, we must ask what we are being faithful to, and what is its character? To what extent is Tradition a product of history and thus in principle mutable, and to what extent is it a source of revelation independent of the Bible? For many catholic-inclined Anglicans, the Bible indeed, rather than an ahistorical deposit, is itself part of Tradition. Anglicans assert that Tradition cannot be in conflict with Scripture and if it appears to be must be reconciled with Scripture or corrected by Scripture. That position in turn invites the question of what we take Scripture to be because at the root of all these discussions is the human quest for certainty in religion and hence of the locus of authority. ...

2024-03-08T22:14:36+00:00By |

‘In God we Trust’ – Editorial, Easter 2023

The Editor,The Rev'd Dr. Nicholas Henderson writes in the Easter Editorial: ‘In God we Trust’– a phrase that appears on American banknotes and coinage – was first approved by Congress in 1864 during the American Civil War. The provenance of the phrase isn’t biblical but comes rather from the American National Anthem, a stanza at the end of the fourth and final rarely sung verse: “And this be our motto: In God is our trust. And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” The anthem is itself an exposition of a poem ‘The Defence of Fort McHenry’ by Frances Scott Key during the War of 1812 against the British. It seems today that the banknote rather than the motto has elicited more faith than a sinking conventional religious affiliation and patriotism. ...

2024-03-08T22:16:16+00:00By |
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