Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The rise and fall of English Christendom

From Australia-

The first time I realised that there was a problem between being a Christian and living in a secular state was when I was sitting in a cinema in 1968. It was the practice of the day to play the national anthem (God Save the Queen) before the movies began during which the audience would stand. I was with my friend, a lecturer in theology. Much to my amazement, he remained firmly in his seat.

The troubled relationship between theological and state power goes back to ancient Israel and the eventual failure of its experiment with kingship. It continued with the crucifixion of Jesus carried out by the occupying Roman state at the behest of the religious authorities. When questioned by Pilate as to whether he was king of the Jews, Jesus replied that his kingdom is not from this world. Christians are exhorted in the New Testament not to be conformed to this world and assured that they are citizens of heaven.

It is clear that the kingdom of God/heaven is not derived from worldly power and that it looks to a higher authority. In a newly published book by Bruce Kaye, who was General Secretary of the Anglican Church in Australia (1994-2004) this tension between royal and ecclesial power is examined in one particular form of Christendom, that of the Church of England.

More here-


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