a review of Christian spirituality
|July 2011|| Vol 50 no 3
To readers and friends of The Way, welcome to our April 2011 issue. To celebrate our fiftieth anniversary we have decided to allow all new and renewing subscribers to give a free gift subscription toa friend whom they think would enjoy or benefit from The Way. Use the subscription link below if you would like to take advantage of this offer!
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In Newness of Life: Eucharistic Living
Celebration of the eucharist has often been an act that divides the different parts of the Christian church. That this need not always be the case is illustrated here by the Anglican Bishop of Wakefield, Stephen Platten. He writes of finding ‘a world framed by an attitude of thanksgiving’; to recognise this, and celebrate it, is what is truly meant by eucharistic living.
Translation and the King James Version
In 2011 the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version of the Bible is being celebrated throughout the English-speaking world and beyond. Here Nicholas King, tutor in biblical studies in the University of Oxford, reflects upon ways in which the problems faced by those who made this translation still face their successors who would produce vernacular versions of the scriptures today.
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The Glass Cathedral: Language, Imagery and Leadership
The third of our reprinted articles ‘From the Archive’, marking the golden jubilee of The Way, comes from the 1980s. Angela Tilby, an Anglican priest and broadcaster, looks at the relationship between the words and the images that are used to express Christian convictions. She traces some of the problems of leadership within the Churches to this root, concluding that ‘Christianity is essentially a lay faith’.
The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Spirituality
The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls sixty years ago had a profound impact on Christian understandings of the scriptures. Here Robert Doud investigates the Qumran community which produced these writings, and asks what their beliefs and outlook might have to say to contemporary faith. In summary, he says, ‘we see in them an intensity of devotion and commitment that we ourselves can in most cases only aspire to’.
Conversion and the Resistance of Culture
It may puzzle people of faith that atheists frequently lead more moral lives than they do themselves. In recent centuries it has sometimes been inhabitants of those countries where Christianity seems to be most deep-rooted who have been responsible for many of the greatest atrocities. Philippe d’Iribarne asks why this should be so, and attributes the situation to the difficulty Christian faith has in overcoming deeply ingrained human cultural responses.
The Mystery of God and Suffering
Theodicy is the technical term for the branch of theology that seeks to justify the goodness and omnipotence of God in the face of the human experience of suffering in the world. Kenneth Overberg holds that there is a common three-fold response to this experience that runs from lament, through action, to trust. Focusing on how the suffering of Christ exemplifies this, he boldly asserts that ‘God becoming human is not an afterthought’.
On Trinitarian Relationships
Toufic Makhoul’s starting-point here is the question of whether the doctrine of the Trinity makes any practical difference to the lives of most Christians. He argues that it should, in that contemplation of the nature of relationships within the Trinity should affect the quality of our own human relationships. This is turn presents a challenge, that of being ready to empty ourselves as Christ did in the incarnation.
C. S. Lewis, in his book The Four Loves, drew distinctions between erotic love, affection, friendship and charity as the four basic kinds of bond drawing people together. As a scientist, Nicholas Hance is familiar with four kinds of force in physics (gravitation, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces) that draw objects together. Here he provocatively draws parallels between these two sets of four, and finds ways in which they surprisingly illuminate each other.
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THE WAY IGNATIAN BOOK SERVICE
The Big Silence, DVD
|‘Many of the world’s religions believe there is one simple path that leads us to God’, says Abbot Christopher Jamison, ‘it’s called silence’.
In this television series, originally shown on BBC 2 in 2010, Jamison set up a three-month experiment to test whether the ancient Christian tradition of silence can become part of modern lives. Five ordinary people, with different beliefs and from different walks of life, were sent on a silent retreat at St Beuno’s Jesuit spirituality centre in North Wales, to learn the value of silent meditation and try to make it part of their everyday lives.
After their time of retreat is over, will they return to their old ways, or have they learned valuable lessons that will profoundly change their lives forever?
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