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A Dim Mirror: Archbishop Rowan Williams's Reflections on the 2009 General Convention

James F. Turrell

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This article examines “Communion, Covenant, and our Anglican Future,” Archbishop Rowan Williams’s essay on the 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church, in which he addresses legislation concerning the ordination of partnered gay clergy and the provision of rites to bless same-sex unions. This article finds Williams’s essay deficient on three points: its distortion of the arguments made by pro-inclusion advocates, its ahistorical vision of how change happens in the church, and its idiosyncratic version of Anglican polity, in which national churches (provinces) are artificial constructs and the diocese is the only organic unit of communion. While Williams is a theologian of great renown and ostensibly seeks the maintenance of unity, this essay’s failings will likely increase fragmentation in the church.

 
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