20 December 2018-9 January 2019
ABC broadcaster Rachael Kohn's farewell program; a former chorister knighted for his feats in Test cricket; and some Christmas-New Year offerings.
January 9 2019
Listen to Archbishop Philip Freier’s Communications Adviser Barney Zwartz, a Senior Fellow of the Centre for Public Christianity, interview Rachael Kohn as she ends 21 years of hosting ABC Radio National’s The Spirit of Things.
Former England Test captain and his country’s highest run-scorer Alastair Cook, once a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, is knighted for services to cricket in the UK New Year’s Honours List. Sir Alastair led England to two Ashes series wins over Australia.
The Governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome accept the resignation of the Centre’s Director and Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, following his suspension before Christmas over an allegation of sexual misconduct. The Burundi prelate had held office for just over a year.
A group commissioned by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York is to oversee about 40 scholars examining sexuality in light of theology, history, biblical studies and science rather than pronouncing on the rights or wrongs of same-sex marriage, Paul Handley, Editor of Church Times, reports. But Bishop Christopher Cocksworth of Coventry insists that the group is not shying away from questions of same-sex relations, “not kicking them into the long grass”.
CNN reports that the new US Congress sworn in last week, while increasingly religiously diverse and including the first two Muslim women to be elected to the House of Representatives, is still overwhelmingly Christian, with 88% of members identifying as such. The Pew Research Centre found that while 23% of Americans identify as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular”, in Congress they comprise only 0.2% of Representatives and Senators.
Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper reports that one in 10 Church of England clergy has been the victim of violent behaviour in the past two years, according to government-funded research by Royal Holloway at the University of London, amid fears that increasing secularisation, the declining status of clergy and abuse scandals may be affecting the way clergy are treated.
Read Archbishop Justin Welby’s Christmas sermon at Canterbury Cathedral – in which he said God’s language of love in Jesus was not just for Christians or the comfortable and respectable – in this Anglican Communion News Service report.
The BBC’s Jeremy Bristow talks to one of the dwindling number of Syriac-speaking Christians of Turkey and discovers there may be more to the tradition of the pilgrims from the East who followed the star to Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago.
Barney Zwartz explores how the Christian understanding of reconciliation can provide a way forward for fragmented societies in Australia and other parts of the world.
Jesus is obscured in a recently published vigorous and passionate defence of Christianity, according to Geoff Thompson of Pilgrim Theological College within the University of Divinity, who is a member of the University’s Centre for Research in Religion and Social Policy.