John Milbank—After Rowan: The Coherence and Future of Anglicanism

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But perhaps even more urgent for the Church in England than addressing this issue is the need to amend the growing incompetence and theological incoherence on the ground. There are three crucial elements that stand out:
--Almost ubiquitous liturgical chaos, where many evangelicals and liberals alike have little sense of what worship is for.

--The increasing failure of many priests to perform their true priestly roles of pastoral care and mission outreach, in a predominantly "liberal" and managerialist ecclesial culture that encourages bureaucratisation and over-specialisation. This has often led to a staggering failure even to try to do the most obvious things - like publicising in the community an Easter egg hunt for children in the bishop's palace grounds! To an unrecognised degree this kind of lapse explains why fewer and fewer people bother with church - though the underlying failure "even to try" has more to do with a post 1960s ethos that assumes decline and regards secularisation as basically a good thing, or even as providentially ordained since religion is supposedly a "private" and merely "personal" affair after all.

--Perhaps most decisive is the collapse of theological literacy among the clergy - again, this is partly a legacy of the 1960s and 70s (made all the worst by the illusion that this was a time of enlightening by sophisticated German Protestant influence), but it has now been compounded by the ever-easier admission of people to the priesthood with but minimal theological education, and often one in which doctrine is regarded almost as an optional extra.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEcclesiology

12 Comments Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm

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