Thursday, May 27, 2010

Snapshot: Walter Russell Mead

From The Living Church-

In the divided camps of the blogosphere, Walter Russell Mead’s eponymous weblog attracts thoughtful responses from across the Anglican ideological and theological spectrum.

Mead, who is Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, launched his weblog several months ago through The American Interest Online. Mead grew up within the Episcopal Church — his father is the Rev. Loren Benjamin Mead, founding president of The Alban Institute — but he writes about it only occasionally as part of a Sunday feature called Faith Matters.

When Mead considers the Episcopal Church, however, the results can be surprising.

“I think Bishop Glasspool’s election and consecration were ill-advised, but that is by no means the same thing as denying the possibility that in due time and with due order and deliberation, such a step could be taken without harm to Christian faith and morals,” he wrote recently. “And yet. It’s also impossible to avoid the reflection that the Episcopal Church is unilaterally imposing its own vision of the church on a worldwide communion. Whatever one thinks of the matter on a personal basis, the New Testament as well as the Old specifically condemns homosexual behavior as contrary to the will of God.”

“Fortunately, because I’m neither a theologian nor holding office in the Episcopal Church, I feel no need to follow things through to their final theological point,” Mead told The Living Church. “I am comfortable with saying ‘I don’t know.’ That feels very Anglican to me.”

Mead has served as senior warden at St. Mark’s Church, Jackson Heights, Queens, N.Y. An alumnus of Groton School, which in a deadpan tone he called an “Episcopal Madrasah,” he has written regularly about the Church’s varying influence in North American culture.

“The church I grew up in seems to be falling apart and being replaced by nothing,” he said. “There’s been, I think, a dearth of leadership about the health of the institution.”

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