29 June 2024

Unexpected and unsolicited,
generous and encouraging
comments on a neglected site

I have been considering the future of the ‘Dead Anglican Theologians Society’ project for some time

Patrick Comerford

I have not paid much attention in recent years to the site ‘Dead Anglican Theologians Society’, a site I began in 2012 while I was a lecturer at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute and teaching Church History.

I was acutely aware at the time of the lack of appropriate resources when it came to looking for accurate biographies, personal accounts, reliable sources and useful illustrations. When it comes to the Church of Ireland, too much Church History has been written as pious and ill-researched hagiography.

I may have bitten off more than I could chew with that project a dozen years ago. Since then I have retired from academic life, it has been difficult to find the resources, the time and the energy to maintain the ‘Dead Anglican Theologians Society’ site. So much so that more recently I have seriously considered mothballing it, if not actually closing it down.

But then along came some surprising words of encouragement earlier this week that I read when I was on the train to Lichfield early one morning.

Professor Bruce Stewart, who now lives in Brazil, maintains the Irish historical website www.ricorso.net, with comprehensive bio-bibliographical information about 5,000 Irish authors. In recent days, he has left a very generous – and, I have to say, unsolicited – comment on a post from almost 12 years ago, ‘16: William Bedell (1571-1642), Caroline Divine and translator of the Bible into Irish.’

He says: ‘This [is] a wonderful essay on Bedell – great history-writing and immensely well-read in the historical and ecclesiastical questions concerned.

‘I have shameless[ly] copied the parts concerning his time in Ireland to Ricorso – hoping permission will not be denied – and want to thank the author, the website and Patrick Comerford, whose photography and personal warmth make him such a treasure to all who known him in Ireland and in the wide international circles where he shares his ecumenical message.’

These unexpected and encouraging comments from Bruce Stewart are making me think again about the future of the Dead Anglican Theologians Society website and pages.

Bishop William Bedell of Kilmore (right) with Archbishop William Sancroft of Canterbury (left) in a window in the chapel of Emmanuel College, Cambridge (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I couldn’t be more pleased with this response and will post my further thoughts to you in Messenger. Meanwhile how great it would be if you did continue - or else publish what you’ve got here already in a “buke”. X Bruce