Anglicanism and Globalization

Christopher Sugden writing in the Evangelicals Now August 2007 edition has some thoughts on the effect that a rising tide of globalization will have on Anglicanism. Up till now most of the Provinces of the Anglican Communion have been coterminous with their respective national boundaries. (The Episcopal Church based mostly in the United States is a signal exception.)

This close identification with the nation state has some implications according to Sugden:

“The Achilles’ heel of the Anglican Communion is that it is more likely to go with the grain of the culture and the politically powerful than against them. Its origin in the concerns of Henry VIII to have all state institutions in the nation subject to him is one factor here.

But it is no longer possible to subject all state institutions in one geographical area to one jurisdiction. International companies, the internet, international networks such as the European Union are an expression of the globalisation that has rendered boundaries that were set by how far people could conveniently travel obsolete.

Geography is no longer the sole consideration when thinking about the space that we occupy. We live in global and universal space which is occupied by networks of people with values and commitments. In the church, we are now experiencing the church as envisaged in Acts 15, where Gentile and Jew ( different races and classes) are engaged closely together.”

Sugden goes on to claim that the rise of the Global South as pan-national coalition in the Anglican Communion is partly an attempt to deal with this particular problem, which he sees most clearly exemplified in what he judges to the be the apostasy of the Episcopal Church (a phrase he uses after claiming warrant from the Chair of Design Committee for the proposed Anglican Covenant, Abp. Drexel Gomez).

It is particularly interesting to read Fr. Sugden’s words in light of the new remarks by the Archbishop of York today.

Read the rest here: Anglican Mainstream » An end to Nationalistic Anglicanism

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