The purpose of this article is to bring to light the ecclesiological reality of cathedrals, with a main focus on the Church of England. It initiates a concise ecclesiological discussion of the following aspects of the English, Anglican cathedrals: (a) the cathedral as a church of Christ; (b) the place and role of the cathedral within the diocese; (c) the relationship between the cathedral and the diocesan bishop; (d) the mission of the cathedral. The article concludes with a brief reflection on (e) the cathedral as the ‘mother church’ of the diocese.
‘Witness’ belongs to the central vocabulary of contemporary ecumenism. Despite its ecumenically significant role the concept has not been defined in ecumenical dialogues, neither analysed in academic research. Already a rough mapping of dialogue documents shows that the concept is used in various ways and contexts but not in a coherent or conscious way. This article studies the meaning of ‘witness’ in two ecumenical documents issued by the World Council of Churches, ‘Together towards Life. Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes’ (2012) and ‘The Church: Towards a Common Vision’ (2013). Both documents see witness as the characteristically Christian way of participating in the mission of the Triune God but give it different roles in the life of the church.
This work is a sociological study of Quakers, which investigates the impact that sectarianism has had on identity construction within the Religious Society of Friends in Ireland. The research highlights individual Friends’ complex and hybrid cultural, national and theological identities, mirrored by the Society’s corporate identity. This publication focuses specifically on examples of political and theological hybridity. These hybrid identities resulted in tensions that impact on relationships between Friends and the wider organisation. How Friends negotiate and accommodate these diverse identities is explored. It is argued that Irish Quakers prioritise ‘relational unity’ and have developed a distinctive approach to complex identity management. It is asserted that in the two Irish states, ‘Quaker’ represents a meta-identity, which is counter-cultural in its non-sectarianism, although this is more problematic within the organisation. Furthermore, by modelling an alternative, non-sectarian identity, Quakers in Ireland contribute to building capacity for transformation from oppositional, binary identities to more fluid and inclusive ones.
The British Empire expanded into East Asia during the early years of the Protestant Mission Movement in China, one of history’s greatest cross-cultural encounters. Anglicans, however, did not accommodate local Chinese culture when they built St. John’s Cathedral in the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong. St. John’s had a prototypical English style and was a gathering place for the colony’s political and social elites, strengthening the new social order. The Cathedral spoke a Western architectural language that local residents could not understand and many saw Christianity as a strange, imposing, foreign religion. As indigenous Chinese Christians assumed leadership of Hong Kong’s Anglican Church, ecclesial architecture took on more Chinese elements, a transition epitomized by St. Mary’s Church, a Chinese Renaissance masterpiece featuring symbols from Taoism, Buddhism, and Chinese folk religions. This essay analyzes the contextualization of Hong Kong’s Anglican architecture, which made Christian concepts more relevant to the indigenous community.