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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Summer Issue of SEARCH

The summer issue of the Church of Ireland journal, SEARCH, edited by Canon Ginnie Kennerley, will be available shortly. This issue will concentrate on science and faith to help readers engage in a conversation, rather than an altercation, in this area, seeing the two as complementary in our understanding of reality. The leading article is by Keith Ward, former Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University and noted writer in this field; his latest book, Love is His Meaning, is reviewed in this issue by the Archbishop of Armagh.

Theodicy is a key area for pondering in the conversation, since so often the question arises ‘How can God – if he exists – allow suffering in his creation?’ There is no neat answer to the question, as is pointed out by Cathriona Russell in her article ‘Creation: an invitation to share God’s love’. However, William Olhausen in his ‘Christian apologetics and the challenge of science’ shares some helpful observations, as does Keith Ward.

Engaging both head and heart in this area is not easy, and the contributors have done so in different ways. Michael Fuller of Edinburgh University puts his passion into insisting on conversation, not conflict, reminding us that many scientists are also faithful Christians. Mark Gallagher, recently graduated from CITI, chides church people for making little attempt to engage scientists in discussion, relating to the symbol and metaphor of scientific discourse. Gillian Straine, a cancer survivor herself, brings her own experience to bear on how prevailing metaphors surrounding cancer help or hinder the sufferer to understand themselves as made in the image of God.

Moving outside the specifically Christian sphere of thinking, the Muslim cosmologist M. Basil Altaie of Yarmouk University in Jordan reflects on how modern cosmological thinking in relation to the Qu’uran and developments in Islamic philosophy are enlightening.

This issue concludes with an In Retrospect by Professor John Bartlett on his onetime mentor in TCD, Professor H F Woodhouse, and a Liturgica page by the Dean of Leighlin, the Very Revd Tom Gordon.

A different type of publication is Radiant Faith: Living out the Five Marks of Mission which has been produced by the Church of Ireland Council for Mission with contributions from all twelve dioceses. The Five Marks of Mission, which, express the Anglican Communion’s common commitment to an understanding of God’s mission are: Tell – to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom; Teach – to teach, baptise and nurture new believers; Tend – to respond to human need by loving service; Transform – to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation; Treasure – to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

Tomorrow (Sunday) the Archbishop of Dublin will attend the Installation of the Rev Dr Tapio Luoma as Archbishop of Turku and Finland at Turku cathedral.

On Tuesday the Bishop of Cork will address the Diocesan Registrars of the Church of Ireland on the subject ‘The Registrar’s Dilemmas’, and on Wednesday he will give a paper at the Law and Religion Conference, ‘Law and Religion in Ireland 1530 to 1970’, at University College Dublin on the subject of ‘Disestablishment and the Irish Church Act 1869’.

Christ Church cathedral, Waterford, will be a leading venue for the conference of the Eighteenth Century Ireland Society which begins next Friday. In the context of the conference Dr Eric Sweeney will give a recital of 18th century Irish cathedral music in Christ Church on Friday evening at 5pm.