God-shaped hole will lead to loss of national sense of identity

May 8, 2008 by

By Ruth Gledhill, The Times The crisis facing Britain’s Christian churches is linked directly to the crisis of British identity now being addressed by the Government. Oaths of allegiance and citizenship ceremonies are under consideration. But one thing lacking from so many conversations about “Britishness” is any reference to a link between religious and ethnic identity. In contrast to the decline of Christianity in Britain, Islam and Hinduism are thriving here. One reason is that for Muslims and Hindus, wherever they come from, their religion is inextricably linked with their sense of identity. Even though the last Prime Minister was devout and converted to Roman Catholicism soon after he left office, and the present one is a son of the manse, the Government remains strongly secular. This is an inevitable result of the liberalising trends of the last century, and one not necessarily to be lamented.   But the...

read more

Archbishop of Canterbury – 'Religious Faith and Human Rights'

May 4, 2008 by

From ACNS The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams will gave a lecture yesterday at the London School of Economics entitled ‘Religious Faith and Human Rights’. Dr Williams sets out a fresh and original vision of how religious tradition – Christianity in particular – can help ground human rights thinking in ways that protect human life from violence, abuse or inequality. Dr Williams responds specifically to the challenge laid down by Alastair McIntyre to find a language, or ethics, for human rights which is robust enough to resist moral relativism on the one hand and political utility on the other. If McIntyre was right to say that the problem with the strict Enlightenment framework of human rights is that it leaves us ‘bereaved’, what might religion have to say about the ‘most secure foundations’ for a universal ethic of inalienable rights? In answering this question Dr Williams shows how...

read more

Gospel Grip and Fulcrum Fantasy – a response to Tom Wright's Fulcrum Conference Lecture 'Conflict and Covenant in the Bible'

Apr 15, 2008 by

 By Charles Raven, Virtue Online   http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/page.cfm?ID=297 12 April 2008 Fulcrum seems to take pride in being the voice of balanced orthodoxy, but Tom Wright’s recent lecture is evidence that the real function of Fulcrum – whatever the intentions of its members – is to try and hold the balance between post modern religiosity and the historic biblical Anglicanism which it mimics. Such a position is of course fundamentally unstable and the strained exegesis of this latest lecture shows the extent to which reality, not least in the form of GAFCON, is overtaking the Fulcrum fantasy. We are invited, in a manner reminiscent of Rowan Williams, to consider a middle way which avoids both the ‘shrill functional pragmatism of today’s muddled left’ and ‘the equally shrill and functional pragmatism of today’s muddled right’, those on the left preoccupied with breaking the old rules and those on the right with keeping...

read more

Christian values only thing holding Britain together, says Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor

Apr 7, 2008 by

From the Catholic News Agency London, Apr 3, 2008 / 11:00 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster and head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, on Monday said that “Judeo-Christian values” were the only thing holding British society together, the Guardian reports. Speaking to the Guardian on the eve of a lecture series about the place of faith in British public life, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor criticized the “aggressive secularism” that he believes is advancing in the United Kingdom. He also defended the Catholic Church’s stance in the debate over human-animal “hybrid” embryos, and argued that Christian leaders should hold a privileged position over representatives of other faiths in debates about public policy. The Guardian contrasted the cardinal’s remarks with the controversial statements of Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who in February suggested that the introduction of some aspect of Sharia law in Britain was “unavoidable.”...

read more