22 March 2012

Anglican Studies (9.2): Post-colonial Biblical exegesis and liberation theology in contemporary global Anglicanism

Patrick Comerford

MTh Year II

Anglican Studies in an Irish context:

Thursdays: 10 a.m. to 12 noon, The Hartin Room.

Thursday, 22 March 2012, 11 a.m.:

9.2: Post-colonial Biblical exegesis and liberation theology in contemporary global Anglicanism.

Readings for this seminar included:

1, Bruce Kaye, An Introduction to World Anglicanism (Cambridge: CUP, 2008):

Chapter 6: ‘Patterns of Engagement – political’ (pp 86-102), and Chapter 14, ‘Other themes in the contemporary agenda’ (pp 232-253).

The Revd Dr Bruce Kaye is a former General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Australia (1994-2004), and has taught theology at the University of Durham and the University of New South Wales. He is the foundation editor of the Journal of Anglican Studies.

In this book, Bruce Kaye looks at the nature of world Anglicanism in a postcolonial, global age. With constant talk of fragmentation, he asks what it means to be Anglican.

This book presents Anglicanism as a conversation over time within a community of people held together by sets of practices and beliefs.

The first part describes the emergence of Anglicanism and its foundations in older Christian traditions.

The second part looks at Anglican practices within the framework of changing understandings of mission, and focuses on liturgy, patterns of engagement with others, organisation and power in the Church, and ministerial offices.

There are two separate chapters on the ordination of women and homosexuality in the public life of the church.

The third part, on beliefs, addresses the central question of knowledge and authority in Anglicanism, as well as ecclesiology, the nature of the Church itself. A final chapter looks to the future.

2, Titus Presler, The Horizons of Mission (Cambridge MA: Cowley, 2001):

Chapter 6, ‘Mission in Many Cultures’ (pp 133-153).

The Revd Dr Titus Presler is the Principal of Edwardes College in Peshawar, Pakistan. He has mission experience in Zimbabwe, India and the US, including inner-city Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has taught mission studies at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, where he was president, General Theological Seminary in New York, where he was academic dean, Episcopal Divinity School, and Gaul Theological College in Harare. As a theologian, he specialises in mission theology and the interaction of gospel and culture, the latter with special reference to Africa.

In The Horizons of Mission, published as part of this volume of ‘The New Church’s Teaching Series,’ Titus Presler offers a fresh vision of mission in the multicultural environment of a global community.

Presler argues that Christian mission expresses God’s longing to embrace humanity in love, and explores how gospel understandings are being reshaped by Christians in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, Christianity’s new centres of gravity. He explores the scriptural basis of mission, historical and contemporary Anglican approaches to mission, the encounter with other religions, and the interaction of the gospel and culture.

He sets out 10 principles for mission in the 21st century in order that parishes and dioceses can engage in world mission as companions in mutuality.

3, Selected readings from the writings of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the Discovery Gospel Choir in Dublin

Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu (born 1931) became the first black Archbishop of Cape Town (1986-1996). Previously he had been Bishop of Johannesburg (1985-1986), secretary general of the South African Council of Churches (1978-1985), Bishop of Lesotho (1976-1978) and Dean of Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Johannesburg (1975-1976).

He is best-known as an activist in the struggle against apartheid, his defence of human rights and his support for campaigns for the oppressed. He has campaigned to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, poverty, racism, sexism and homophobia and on climate change.

He received the Novel Peace Prize in 1984, and has received many awards and prizes since. He is the author of several books and there are many collections of his speeches and sayings.

His books include:

Crying in the Wilderness (Eerdmans, 1982).
Hope and Suffering: Sermons and Speeches (Skotaville, 1983)
The Words of Desmond Tutu (Newmarket, 1989).
The Rainbow People of God: The Making of a Peaceful Revolution (Doubleday, 1994).
Worshipping Church in Africa (Dukev University Press, 1995).
The Essential Desmond Tutu (David Phillips, 1997).
No Future without Forgiveness (Doubleday, 1999).
An African Prayerbook (Doubleday, 2000).
God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time (Doubleday, 2004).


Patrick Comerford, Desmond Tutu: Black Africa’s Man of Destiny (Dublin: Veritas, 1987, 1989).
Shirley du Boulay, Tutu: Voice of the Voiceles (Eerdmans, 1988).
Michael J. Battle, Reconciliation: The Ubuntu Theology of Desmond Tutu (Pilgrim Press, 1997).
Steven D. Gish, Desmond Tutu: A Biography (Greenwood, 2004).
John Allen, Rabble-Rouser for Peace: The Authorised Biography of Desmond Tutu (Rider Books, 2007).

Next week [29 March]:

The Anglican Covenant: does it have a future?

Canon Patrick Comerford is Lecturer in Anglicanism and Liturgy, the Church of Ireland Theological Institute. These notes were prepared for a seminar on the MTh Year II course, EM8825: Anglican Studies in an Irish context, on Thursday 22 March 2012

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