Hopefully by now, all of us have learned that the naming of any committee, group, commission, council, or pretty much anything with more than one person is [drum roll] a political decision.
So I’m intrigued by the makeup of this group tasked with writing what is purportedly the mind of the Lambeth Conference’s discussions. With 16 members, not all of the Communion’s 38 Provinces can be represented by a member. So a look at the geography and theology of the 16 members if quite fruitful.
Of course, there is one province—one out of all 38 provinces—who gets more than one representative on this group.
One guess as to which province that is.
So we have 1/8 of the group made up of bishops of TEC—and of course those bishops are both revisionists. Bishop Alexander is a quite radical revisionist, who attempts to obscure that radical theology behind a cloak of intellect—something that Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori has been unable to do. You will recall also that he ran for Presiding Bishop, and I suspect that had he won he would have maintained a far more, shall we say, Griswoldian ethos of civility and vague scholarship rather than the Schoria-esque ethos that we in TEC have all come to know and love. In other words, though I have no idea of how someone like Bishop Lee voted, the “let’s-drop-anchor-here-until-they-all-fall-asleep” group of institutional revisionists would have wanted Alexander hands-down over Jefferts Schori, the choice of the full-steam-ahead-and-damn-the-torpedoes group of idealistic revisionists. Thank God we got Bishop Jefferts Schori!
Bishop Wolf is quite easily our favorite revisionist bishop—favored because she is inexiplicably the only revisionist bishop that is capable of showing grace to her enemies, and because she has become a Windsor bishop, which means she’s willing to wave a hand at the notion of waiting for the Communion before Running Out And Being All Prophetic.
So—we have two revisionist bishops, representing the Province that caused this Lambeth to lose one-quarter of its bishops, and both are on the “Reflections Group” tasked with writing the mind of the [remaining] bishops of the Communion.
Given this Anglican Communion, and given this Archbishop of Canterbury, and given this TEC, that is, I think, fitting.
But the acknowledgement that this is a political decision means that actions that are taken may be political by both sides. So it will be interesting to see what the conservatives represented on the group will do.
Although we can’t be certain, we can at least estimate that the representatives from Kenya, Central Africa, the Southern Cone, the Indian Ocean, Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Sudan, Tanzania, and the West Indies are traditional in theology.
That leaves Canada, the Church of England, Hong Kong, Ireland, Southern Africa, and South India unaccounted for.
There may be surprises in both of my estimates however, towards either end. So I’m asking you to go to this Open Thread link and put in what you know about the players on this group.
For your interest, below is a list of the provinces who are NOT represented on the Reflections Group [I’ve already deleted Nigeria, Uganda, and Rwanda from the list].
The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia
The Anglican Church of Australia
The Church of Bangladesh
Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil
The Anglican Church of Burundi
Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America
Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo
The Nippon Sei Ko Kai (The Anglican Communion in Japan)
The Anglican Church of Korea
The Church of the Province of Melanesia
La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico
The Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma)
The Church of North India (United)
The Church of Pakistan (United)
The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea
The Episcopal Church in the Philippines
The Scottish Episcopal Church
Church of the Province of South East Asia
The Church in Wales
The Church of the Province of West Africa