Summer 2012


It is good, in the aftermath of last month’s General Synod, to look beyond our particular obsession of the moment to the wider ecclesial scene and to consider, along with Archbishop Jackson, the ever present and ever pressing issue of how much our common baptism enables Christians to share together in our regular worship and witness. Passion and politics tend to prompt different approaches to such issues, so we are grateful to our Archbishop for his balanced, thoughtful and thought-provoking article – a fitting accompaniment to his presence at this month’s Eucharistic Congress, where he will be presiding at the Liturgy of Word and Water on Monday June 11th.
However the question of human sexuality in the context of Christian faith, however divisive in the Church at present, is not going to go away. The General Synod resolution of last month is no more than a marker on the journey towards a considered Church of Ireland response to new scientific and sociological material in this area, along with deeper biblical reflection. So it is hoped that three articles deriving from the Bishops’ Conference on Human Sexuality held in Cavan in March will help members of our Church in their further reflection and respectful listening to fellow Christians whose views, and maybe life experience, vary from their own. The articles, by Stephen Farrell, Doug Baker and Bishop Gregory Cameron respectively, cover legal, discussion process, and ecclesiological issues. Our series on Approaches to the Bible continues with an arresting article by Jerusha McCormack, whose recent work at Beijing’s Foreign Studies University has led her to ponder the difficulties of inter-cultural communication, particularly as related to religion. Her discovery of linguistics professor Anna Wierzbicka’s work, which reduces Gospel vocabulary to a sum of only 150 words equally intelligible in all cultures, was an eye-opener for her, which she shares in a compelling manner. This summer edition finally offers couple of very different articles: a deeply impressive consideration by the Dean of Lismore of the ministry of a country cathedral to its visitors; and an intriguing essay in Irish clerical family history – the family in question being the Wynnes of Hazelwood, Co.Sligo - by a descendant now living in the south of England. A full selection of book reviews concludes the issue – and this editorial concludes with a plea to subscribers to remember to forward their 2012 subscriptions to Dean Stephen White, if this remains to be done! (See order forms on the last page.)


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