July 25, 2002
1:01 AM   Subscribe

the choice of dr rowan williams as the new archbishop of canterbury is inspired and his acceptence speech filled me with hope. so, i am hoping that the new archbish will bring some sense of moral guidance to the country and remind us of what the church is for. the guardian has an illuminating introduction to the man and his beliefs: the head of the anglican church in his own words has extracts from his many books. here is a short quote from Writing in the Dust: reflections on 11th september: "Last words. We have had the chance to read the messages sent by passengers on the planes to their spouses and families in the desperate last minutes; and we have seen the spiritual advice apparently given to the terrorists by one of their number, the thoughts that should have been in their minds as they approached their death they had chosen (for themselves and for others). Something of the chill of 11 September lies in the contrast. The religious words are, in the cold light of day, the words that murderers are saying to themselves to make a martyr's drama out of a crime. The non-religious words are testimony to what religious language is supposed to be about - the triumph of pointless, gratuitous love, the affirming of faithfulness even when there is nothing to be done or salvaged." there is a larger extract online: part one and part two
posted by quarsan (6 comments total)
let's hope he does some good as he goes about his archiepiscopate.
not a word i get to use every day.
posted by asok at 3:00 AM on July 25, 2002

Wow, a church leader who thinks. Makes a change from the unquestioning happy clappers - to quote previous Archbishop Runcie:

"The church is like a large swimming pool, all the noise comes from the shallow end."
posted by niceness at 3:36 AM on July 25, 2002

It's people like these who make me not hate religion outright.
posted by delmoi at 5:24 AM on July 25, 2002

It's also, I think, a calling to nourish a sense of proper confidence in the church and more widely.

This could be an unhelpful confidence that suggests the church has all the answers and that refuses to pay real attention to other faiths and other convictions.

But there is also a confidence that arises from being utterly convinced that the Christian creed, the Christian vision, have in them a life and a richness that can embrace and transfigure all the complexities of human life.

This confidence can rightly sit alongside a patient willingness to learn from others in the ordinary encounters of life together in our varied society.

And it's this kind of confidence that saves us from being led by fashion, by the issues of the day.

The truth for and about human beings isn't something that can be decided by the majority vote of our culture - whether on war, or sex, or economics, or ecology or anything else.

I love this bit. I like that he's not one of the arrogant people who think he knows all the right answers because he's a Christian, but he also isn't one of the arrogant people who think he's smarter than all the Christians of the past because he lives in the year 2002 with computers and lightbulbs and stuff.
posted by straight at 6:00 AM on July 25, 2002

the more i read the two articles, the more i appreciate him.
posted by quarsan at 6:18 AM on July 25, 2002

the triumph of pointless, gratuitous love

Nice religion, that!
posted by rushmc at 8:40 AM on July 25, 2002

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