Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Personal Info.

I realized after last night's post I referenced events in my personal life without any explication.

I've moved back to Vancouver, BC. Not because I'm some liberal refugee from Bush-ist America, but a simpler explanation--a girl. I'm starting school in a week. I will be doing a MDiv (Masters of Divinity---easily the most arrogant degree ever stated....I'll be a Master of the Divine after reading some theolog text books, yikes)at The Vancouver School of Theology. It's a single building (beautiful building see it on the website) on the campus of the University of British Columbia.

It's a joint school--Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists. Along with a Presbysterian, Baptist-evangelical, and Roman Catholic schools also campus nearby.

I think I've referenced this before, but just to make clear. I was raised Roman Catholic and spent four years in the Jesuit order studying to be a priest (21-25). I left the order and then left the Roman church altogether. I "converted" to the Anglican Church. (Episcopal in the US).

Not only will I be in school, but I am starting up a rather entailed discernment process with the Anglican diocese here to see if the Anglican church will sponsor me for ordination.

I'm looking for connection through the Diocese of New Westminster. Which incidentally is at the center of the current furor in the Anglican Communion.

Since it's not really clear yet to what degree a blog can be used in terms of career selection-e.g. professors who have blogs up for tenure--I'm not really in a position to go into detail on the subject. I'll just say that I didn't come here to make a statement, as it were. I'm here because of my "special lady". But neither am I unaware of what is transpiring and fleeing either. I hope that is sufficiently (un)clear to make the point politically.

If anyone is interested I recommend Stephen Bates' book: A Church at War. Bates is the religious reporter for the Guardian. The book is more focused, therefore, on the English Church's response to the issue. Bates is a journalist. It's not a theological piece on sexuality, Bible, etc. It is an investigate coverage of the players, organizations, and politics behind the scenes. Not salicious by any means. Bates clearly has preference for the liberal establishment, though his wife is a staunch evangelical conservative. So he's pretty balanced in his presentation of the events.

[Or check at Eddie Izzard on Anglicans and laugh your a-- off].

In the Anglican Communion, The ArchBishop of Cantebury (traditional see of Christianity in the Isles) is not like the Pope. He's more like a facilitator of a group meeting than say a Boss. The Archbishop of Cantebury has no ability to enforce his will on the rest of the Anglican church. It is a communion in the sense that it is comprised of national churches that choose to be in communion with one another. It is not nearly as centralized as the Vatican. Somewhat more like the Eastern Orthodox churches.

The current instantitation of the Anglican Communion dates to the 1880s. The Anglican Church to then from the days of the split had mostly been relegated to England, Wales, and smaller numbers in Ireland, Scotland. Plus US and Canada. [The Episcopal Church in the US changed its name from Church of England (in US) during the Revolutionary War so as not to be looked upon as a Loyalist sympathizers.]

With the spread of the British empire, Anglican churches spread. New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and then in the latter half of the 20th century through large portions of sub-Saharan Africa, especially Nigeria, Uganda.

And from the later 19th century to today, the Communion has been run on essentially a gentleman's agreement. Each church is independent in its own jurisdiction but is generally answerable to the other churches. Hence the great emphasis on reconciliation, dialogue, broad based tolerance (to a degree) that has been the hallmark (or depending on your pov the sin/weakeness) of the AC.

That agreement almost severed with the issue of women's ordination which came on the scene during the 1960-1980s. While at points it looked as if there might be a split, the Communion managed to agree to disagree. Churches that allowed women's ordination were to remain with churches that did not. Either choice was viable in the Church. The majority of churches (both size-wise and numerically) do not to date ordain women to the priesthood/espicopate.

The Esiscopal Church just elected this past summer a new presiding Bishop--again not the head bishop of the United States but rather its spokesman, er spokeswoman in this case. As background.

The major issue of course has been over homosexuality which both politically and religiously is a wedge issue. Wedge issues stoke bases, create us/thems, and allow for people from many different stripes/persuasions use what are otherwise valid moral quandaries as power plays, avenues for other agendas. [on both sides incidentally].

Whatever does happen going forward, and I have my ideas but I wouldn't yet put my money on anything, this gentleman's agreement has been severed. Controversy is if nothing else a sign that there is life, committment (on all sides), passion. Though very painful. Very painful one must admit.

In other news, I'm planning to do some general themes, specific methodologies, and evidences to cite in support of detailed hypothesis (deductions from the abduction as Peirce would say) around integral. I had written some pieces which I've decided I don't like and deleted them. They were pieces rebutting specific charges, counterarguments made by fellow bloggers/thinkers. But I realized, writing from that space was too constricting and the work suffered. Too reactionary.

I want to go to a more exploratory kinda place. Distancing myself from the immediate fray over pro-Ken, anti-Ken. I'm more interested in considering the emotional/moral implications of why would adhere to certain methodologies/paradigms/worldviews (however broadly or narrowly), and what would be the implications in other realms if such and such were the case--if say integral did have major contributions to make. If it did have a way to act as a new critical theory--i'll be focusing only on what I know--politics, ethics/morals, religion, and philosophy.


At 4:44 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Thanks for sharing some personal info. I tried for several years to join a religious order in the Catholic Church, with the goal of ordination.

It seems priests can become mystics, but mystics can't become priests. But I'm happy that you've found a home in the Anglican.


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