Thursday, September 19, 2013

Heading North

 A view of the facade of Abbey House. The uniform appearance of this facade is mis-leading, as the remains of older buildings on the site have been incorporated into its construction.
Department of Theology and Religion (Abbey House)
University of Durham

I am pleased to announce that, as of October 1, 2013, I will begin an eleven-month term as as the Michael Ramsey Postdoctoral Fellow in Anglican Studies at the University of Durham. I will be working under the direction of the Van Mildert Canon Professor of Divinity, Mark McIntosh, devoting half of my time to assisting in the development both of the postgraduate and the postdoctoral elements of Anglican Studies and half to my own research.

As part of the terms of this appointment, it has been agreed that, during my tenure as fellow, my public involvement in controversial matters in the Anglican world will be in a personal capacity and will not be considered to reflect the views of Durham University, Durham Cathedral, the Department of Theology and Religion or the Michael Ramsey Programme in Anglican Studies. Any involvement in ongoing legal proceedings will be undertaken in a private capacity, in my own time, and will not involve use of Durham University or Durham Cathedral’s name or resources.

That said, it is my hope that the next year will provide many opportunities for developing a research framework for the program that devotes attention to all aspects of the Anglican world, High, Low and Broad, Global North and Global South. After all, the Twenty-First Century looks likely to be as interesting (in the Chinese sense) an era for Anglicans as was the Seventeenth.

Finally, and on a personal note, it will be a truly blessed opportunity to be working just a short walk from where my father lies buried, although I will not be working in Abbey House, where he had a room overlooking the Nine Altars (the east end of Durham Cathedral), but in 16 South Bailey, which was formerly the home of Michael Ramsey and his wife. Two generations in the same department. It has a nice ring.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Neutral Principles Rule!

There is no provision in TEC's Constitution or Canons which require prior approval of a diocesan constitution or its canons. There is no express prohibition against withdrawal of a diocese. In sum, reviewing the governing documents from a secular perspective, there is no explicit or clearly delineated expression of TEC's claim that the General Convention is the ultimate authority or judicatory of the Church.