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toward a both/and church

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 03, 2005

The Anglican Dean of Southwark, the Very Reverend Colin Slee, is high on the theological acumen of the Archbishop of Canterbury:

The archbishop is capable of thinking in polarities. He can understand the extreme end of an argument (he can understand an African archbishop's abhorrence of any idea of accommodation towards homosexual people), and at the same time he can understand the other side of the argument (the cry for justice, the faithfulness of longstanding same-sex relationships, the fact that there have been gay priests and bishops throughout the church's history); and he can hold them in tension, respect their "integrity". That's why he is so brilliant a theologian. There is a lot in theology about holding apparently irreconcilable polarities in a creative tension -- "God is three and God is one".

Non in dialectica complacuit Deo salvum facere populum suum

The photo above -- from last December's Church Times -- shows Dean Slee holding (reconciliable?) polarities in creative tension. Lot of theology there. The image provoked a sardonic observation from David Williams: "The Dean appeared pleased with his subordinate Clauses." Archbishop Akinola was unavailable for comment.

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Fr. Zuhlsdorf o{]:¬) - Mar. 04, 2005 1:26 AM ET USA

    "Subordinate Clauses!" ROLF!! Thanks, O Most Excellent Diogenes.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Mar. 03, 2005 4:07 PM ET USA

    Are the 2 nuns under the good Dean's spiritual direction (laying on of hands and all that), members of a purely monastic or mendicant order? Given the prominence of white, I would think they are part of the Order of Our Lady of the Dominican Vacation, tanning oil charism.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Mar. 03, 2005 11:18 AM ET USA

    Diogenes, Pardon my musings, which run the risk of crossing the line to sycophantic paeans to your scholarship. The Latin that you are embedding in your messages is, I hope, part of a trend in your postings which you will continue. Since it is Lent, I consider it an act of mercy to give lessons in the basic trivium, particularly to those poor souls enjoined against us. The Librarians are At The Gates. Vae Victus.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 03, 2005 10:23 AM ET USA

    I believe the pre-PC term for holding two diametrically opposed things in "creative tension" was sloth, itself one of the seven capital sins. It is, of course, part of theological discourse, but it always comes with a caveat.

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