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Amongst the subjects discussed by the theologians of ARCIC, canon law has been conspicuously absent. The ecclesiology of koinonia, which is central to the work of ARCIC, has been of the greatest importance in ‘re-imagining’ the Church and so promoting ecumenism. It has faced received canon law with new questions: to what extent can canon law facilitate those structures and practices which undergird the ecumenical initiatives promoted by koinonia ecclesiology? Already, canon law provides for shared institutions and chaplaincies to institutions. Test areas for future ecumenical convergence include the reception of a member of one tradition by the other, ethics and suitability for ministry. The proposed Anglican covenant presents a challenge to the canon law of member churches within the Anglican Communion and may present a model for future ecumenical convergence. The work of canon lawyers in developing this and other new models for ecumenism is indispensable to a deeper and more extensive koinonia amongst the churches.
One of the main goals of the Second Vatican Council (the 50th anniversary of whose opening will be celebrated in 2012) was the unity of all Christians. Not least among its achievements was the fact that it launched the Catholic Church into the Ecumenical Movement and also paved the way for a global revision of the Church's Code of Canon Law. This article reflects from a Roman Catholic perspective on aspects to do with canon law and ecumenism. It does so in the light of the Council's teaching and reception. Conciliar hermeneutics and questions left open at the Council are considered. In conclusion, the author suggests that greater attention to the Church's charismatic principle and missionary mandate underlined at the Council offers wide scope for continuing exploration among Anglican and Roman Catholic canonists in the cause of unity.
This article distinguishes three different conceptions of the relationship between religion and the public sphere. The reconciliation of these different aspects of freedom of religion can be seen to give rise to considerable difficulties in practice, and the legal and political systems of several Western European countries are struggling to cope. Four recurring issues that arise in this context are identified and considered: what is a ‘religion’ and what are ‘religious’ beliefs and practices for the purposes of the protection of ‘freedom of religion’, together with the closely related issue of who decides these questions; what justification there is for a provision guaranteeing freedom of religion at all; which manifestations of religious association are so unacceptable as to take the association outside the protection of freedom of religion altogether; and what weight should be given to freedom of religion when this freedom stands opposed to other values. It is argued that the scope and meaning of human rights in this context is anything but settled and that this gives an opportunity to those who support a role for religion in public life to intervene.
The Marriage (Wales) Act 2010 illustrates that a disestablished church will always occupy an intermediate position between an established church and one which has never been established: the Church in Wales needed an Act to reform its marriage law, whereas paradoxically the Church of England legislated for itself by Measure. The article outlines how the provisions on marriage evolved during the passage of the disestablishment legislation; accepts the validity of contemporaneous arguments based on inconsistency; and outlines previous occasions when the marriage laws of England and of Wales have fallen out of step. It concludes by accepting that the continued establishment of the marriage law in Wales is inconsistent, but that any change is likely to depend on a wholesale reform of marriage law.
Churches, in common with other unincorporated associations, thrive on a healthy dynamic amongst their members whose energies and gifts, properly harnessed, can serve to promote mission and witness, to build up the community of faith and to evangelise with vigour and integrity. Not infrequently, however, in both aspiration and application, the conduct of believers (individually and corporately) can fall short of that paradigm and the result can be destructive and debilitating. This paper identifies and explores areas within the current structures of the Church of England where express provision already exists for a formal process of mediation or other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), suggesting that greater use of mediation in the future would be beneficial to the Church of England functionally, spiritually and (not least) financially.1
This paper1 addresses the practical aspects of mediation. Experienced mediators will know what mediations look like and feel like and need no reminding how effective mediation has become as a means of resolving disputes. My own practice as a mediator – which tends to focus on inheritance and probate disputes, where the emotional element is often highly toxic – has some parallels with the mediation of Church disputes where an understanding of and sensitivity to theology is crucial.
This article examines the unique risks associated with Islamic financial institutions and the secular state's reticence to directly regulate their religious dimension. It argues that the state's method of regulating the Islamic financial industry ignores special reputational risks associated with the religious and cultural distinctiveness of Islamic banks.
The single most important piece of legislative business considered by the Synod in 2010 was, of course, the draft legislation relating to women in the episcopate. Having been given First Consideration by the Synod in February 2009, the draft legislation was the subject of detailed consideration by a Revision Committee between May 2009 and April 2010. The Revision Committee received 297 submissions, of which 114 were from individual Synod members or groups including Synod members and others. In consequence, it met on 16 occasions and its report ran to 142 pages.
This year the Church of Ireland General Synod took place in the home of the Metropolitan in Dublin, Christchurch Cathedral. In the more recent past Synod has used the facilities of one of the city's major hotels, facilities which a cathedral could not and would not claim to match. However, the cathedral had in the past been used for many different purposes during its near 1,000-year history and it provided for the Synod an atmosphere wholly unlike any secular conference. One could argue, as did the Dean, that when the Synod is meeting in Dublin Christchurch is its rightful home.
The 2010 General Assembly was perhaps most notable for two events: on Sunday 23 May a special session was held to mark the 450th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation and on 26 May, for the first time in its history, it was addressed by a Muslim, Dr Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic Studies in the University of Glasgow. Otherwise, the Assembly devoted much of its time to detailed issues of church law, governance and the more general needs of Scotland's wider society.2
A resolution recognising the need to address the Covenant carefully and prayerfully was passed after considerable discussion on the final draft of the Covenant; it was remitted to the Faith and Order Board to be given careful consideration. Questions were raised as to whether the Covenant was a reasonable and necessary instrument to strengthen the cohesion of a diverse Communion and whether it was helpful to attempt to define a single view and substitute a central authority for Anglican co-responsibility. The difficulties being faced by the Anglican Communion were being faced by every Church across the world. It was now for the Faith and Order Board to advise on what process or processes might be appropriate to be followed by the Synod to enable due consideration of the final version of the Covenant by the Scottish Episcopal Church. Questions were also asked as to whether a loose arrangement might be better suited to taking the strain and it was suggested that the Scottish Church should not be afraid of breaking with the Anglican Communion. The Primus pointed out that the process as a whole would take a considerable amount of time and it was not a process on which the Church should feel rushed.
2010 marked the 90th anniversary of disestablishment; and the Archbishop noted in his April Presidential Address to the Governing Body that though disestablishment had been forced on the Church and its result had been to deplete assets, congregations had twice raised sufficient money to secure the Church's territorial ministry. Though the Church now had fewer attenders, clergy and ordinands than hitherto, it had survived greater challenges in the past. In his September address, as well as looking outwards and comparing the relationship between Gaza and Israel with apartheid in South Africa, he warned that the ‘Big Society’ might merely make life harder for the most vulnerable and reminded the Government that everyone needed good quality education, health and other public services.