Some of you may have seen that there has been a big furor in England this week over the Archbishop of Canterbury allegedly arguing that some aspects of sharia law should be entertained as being part of the law of England. This has led Lambeth Palace to issue a statement about ‘what the Archbishop actually said’ . It seems to me another instance of the Archbishop being so nuanced that he was opening himself to misunderstanding. I’m not sure that I have got it yet, but he seems to be making some parallel between canon law and sharia law in some limited way, having a recognized place in English society. He seems to be properly concerned with how a real place is made for a Muslim minority in a pluralistic society, and doing it apart from and in the face of a rather ugly xenophobic strain in the ‘English psyche’. Of the many articles I’ve read trying to get a handle on this, the most helpful came from Ekklesia. It was posted this morning and can be found here. The Archbishop is raising all kinds of issues that go very clearly to some of the reading that our vestry was doing last year in what it means to be the church in a postmodern world and an increasingly post-Christian environment.
Our friend Giles Fraser has written some good stuff this week, an article on progressive Christianity in America for The Guardian newspaper and a really clear piece for the Church Times making clear that the withholding of an invitation to the Lambeth Conference to the Bishop of New Hampshire is morally bankrupt. (Read it here), a position with which I wholeheartedly agree.