Spring 2018


THE ARCHBISHOPS of the Church of Ireland lead this issue of SEARCH for the simple reason that both Dublin and Armagh have been engaged in boundary-breaking activity of late. While being equally busy on the ecumenical scene internationally, Archbishop Jackson has been bridge- building at home, encouraging the Church to engage with preparation for The World Meeting of Families, to be attended by Pope Francis here in August. He hopes that many parishes will join in reflection on family issues with their Catholic neighbours as the year unfolds.
Meanwhile Archbishop Clarke, now co-chair of the Anglican- Orthodox International Commission for Theological Dialogue, points us to its three recent ground-breaking agreements. He also provides an impressive account of Anglican-Orthodox dialogue down the years. Dr Andrew Pierce of the Irish School of Ecumenics follows this with a specific consideration of recent work on theological anthropology. Climate change and Brexit are currently matters of great concern in view of the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and anxieties as to the next phase of Brexit negotiations. Margaret Daly-Denton has recruited comment from American Anglicans who declare “we’re still in”, while Kenneth Milne, who sits on a number of church committees concerned with European affairs, offers an update on the Brexit issues. Some readers may groan, but the ever newsworthy area of human sexuality cannot be ignored, and we are limping a bit behind the news: just at the Church of England calls on the UK government to ban ‘conversion therapy’, we catch up with 2017 events in Scotland, as Kelvin Holdsworth ponders the ‘conscience’ issues relating to same- sex marriage in church. Another current topic, to be reconsidered at this year’s General Synod is the renewed call for a retreat centre for the Church of Ireland. Máirt Hanley links this with the idea of pilgrimage, making suggestions of his own. Finally we come to the first in a series of short articles to be labeled Liturgica, edited by Margaret Daly Denton. We are honoured to have Paul Bradshaw as our first contributor. We conclude with an In Retrospect and our Book Reviews. In that context, we welcome Raymond Refaussé as chair of the SEARCH editorial committee, succeeding the esteemed and long-serving Professor John Bartlett.


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