On my way driving down from NYC to Virginia I listened to the podcast (available on itunes) of this excellent and interesting lecture given in February by Archbishop George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, at Duke University back in February.
While I disagree with some of his thinking, and his approach to scripture differs from mine, I thought this lecture to be very very interesting, and make sure to listen to it online, because both Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and Dr. Stanley Hauerwas of Duke University make comments and ask questions.
When Archbishop Carey came to VTS to speak in the spring of 2006, I was not all that impressed, and thought he dodged some earnest and probing questions. In this lecture I appreciate his take on the issues and the situation in which we find ourselves ... well worth the time to listen ... check it out and let me know what you think!
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Speaks at Duke Divinity School
February 7, 2007
I must begin this address by thanking Jo Wells for her welcome and all those who have made it possible for Eileen and myself to make this trip to North Carolina. We are especially delighted to be here at Duke University and gain a flavour of the life and vitality of this place.
Duke’s Methodist roots are well known, of course, and remind us of the debt that both Anglicanism and Methodism owe to each other. I served my Title as Curate at St.Mary’s Islington in London and recall noting with delight on my first day there, that the great Charles Wesley had been a curate at the same church in the 18th century. Episcopalians are indebted to our young sister’s commitment to evangelism and social action.
However, the 18th century Church of England did not take too kindly to Methodism’s enthusiasm and direct spirituality. An ironic and somewhat bizarre witness to this is found in a church near Cambridge where a memorial plaque records the ministry of the Rector, of whom the plaque states ‘served for 38 years in this parish without the slightest trace of enthusiasm.’
That astonishing memorial was not erected by disgruntled parishioners but actually delighted ones who were clearly pleased that, during their Rector’s time the ‘enthusiasts,’ that is the Methodists, were kept at bay. Sadly, the division between our two churches today is due to that kind of attitude which prevailed all too often at that period.
Both John and Charles Wesley were disappointed by the reception given by the Established Church to the fledgling ‘methodistical’ preachers of their day. They died priests in the Church of England, even though both knew with reluctance that it would be only a matter of few years before the inevitable split between mother and daughter came about.
Dr.Wells invited me to speak about the Anglican Communion today, and I offered the title of: “The Anglican Communion; Past Blessings, present Challenges, future Hope.” I do so with some hesitancy because I run the risk of some telling me, yet again, that I am interfering and that I am undermining the work of Archbishop Rowan Williams.
My response is twofold; it is difficult to accept the accusation of interfering when I am speaking of my own Communion, to which I gave so much in eleven exhausting and fulfilling years. I love this Communion and I love the Episcopal Church of the United States. One only ‘interferes’ if the matter has nothing to do with one. This is scarcely the case.
Secondly, I fully support the present Archbishop of Canterbury in his desire to hold the Communion together and to find a way out of the present serious situation we are in. The Windsor Report, if accepted by all, would strengthen the Communion and heal our brokenness. Alas, it has already become clear that its strong medicine does not please parts of our body and has been rejected by some. The coming Primates Meeting in Tanzania should be in all our prayers as the leaders of the Communion seek a way forward to hold the family together.
So, let me reflect with you from this place, Duke University, a former bastion of Methodist life. What would the Wesley brothers have made of the Anglican Communion; indeed, would it have been a reality in their day?
read the rest HERE....or, ... HERE.