(New Statesman) George Pitcher ponders the challenges confronting the Archbishop of Canterbury

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We start, therefore, with a paradox – the Church of England is deeply rooted in British political life, yet it transcends party politics. [Rowan] Williams has managed this difficult relationship with the nation’s politics remarkably well. With carefully chosen interventions, the outrage of politicians and in some quarters of the media may be seen to have demonstrated that he has got this aspect of his job bang on.

When he suggested in 2008 that our legislature might recognise aspects of sharia in our civil law, some of the more excitable newspaper commentators ranted about tongues being cut out and adulterers being stoned to death. It was left to the Conservative MP Peter Bottomley calmly to point out on BBC radio that, among a Christian, a Jew and a Muslim in the UK, only one person is prevented from marrying according to the rites of his or her own culture – and that this is inequitable.

Since then, Williams may have been more measured in his contributions but he’s hardly been less of a political animal....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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