A doctor of the Church? Adapting Anglicanism in science fiction

Marcus Harmes

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Abstract

Statistics and the people who interpret them both have a tendency to be depressing, especially if the statistics are about the Anglican Church and the person interpreting them is a former archbishop of Canterbury. In November 2013 Lord Carey of Clifton, archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 to 2002, warned in public comment that the Church of England was in crisis. Speaking of Church leaders, including himself, he insisted that 'we ought to be ashamed of ourselves' for lack of action. His comments were widely reported in the British press, accompanied by a slew of commentary and opinion pieces on the Church's decline. Whatever the accuracy or validity of Carey's comments, they intersect with widely discussed issues in the Anglican Communion, including divisive crises relating to the ordination of homosexual clergy and the appointment of women to the episcopate, as well as the evident numerical decline of the Church. A yet broader context for Carey's forthright and pessimistic observations comes from a widely reported sense of challenges facing the Church expressed on multiple levels, from a declaration from Family Court judge Sir James Munby that British law is now secular in outlook and application, to the stark financial pressures facing a Church with fewer worshippers but the same number of old and expensive buildings to maintain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalSt. Mark's review: A journal of Christian thought and opinion
Volume229
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

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