Global Briefs for Nov. 24

By John Martin

Understand Your Enemies: The Most Rev. Rowan Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, has criticized sections of the media for “dehumanizing” the Islamic State. Journalists need to “attempt to understand our enemies,” he said, in delivering the Orwell Lecture at University College London on Nov. 17.

Responding to questions four days after the Paris massacre in which 129 people died at the hands of ISIS militants, Williams said: “Somehow the obstinate attempt to make sense of those who are determined to make no sense of me is one of the things that divides civilization from barbarism, faith from emptiness. You have to try.”

Memories of Tribal Strife: The 100th anniversary this month of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe, built on one of seven hills in Uganda’s capital of Kampala, has prompted reflection by the Church of Uganda’s leaders on an infamous incident.

Tribal rivalries came to the fore in 1967, when Baganda Anglicans refused to allow the Most Rev. Erica Sabiti, the first indigenous African to become Archbishop of Uganda, to enter the cathedral. Members of the congregation, led by Edita Nassozi Musolooza, angrily insisted that a non-Muganda could not take the episcopal seat. As a result, the nearby All Saints Church, Nakasero, became the national cathedral and St. Paul’s became the episcopal seat of the mainly Buganda Diocese of Namirembe.

The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, eighth Archbishop of Uganda, called on Christians to denounce the incident as a curse and to seek reconciliation. He said it was imperative for Christians to ask for God’s forgiveness for what their ancestors did. “Let us be bold enough to repent their sins on their behalf so that we can break the curse and release this great cathedral for the current generation and those to come,” Archbishop Ntagali said.

St. Andrews Receives Large Grant: A grant of just under $2.4 million from the Templeton Foundation is enabling a new project at St. Andrews University in Scotland. The grant will fund study of the nature and existence of God. It will charge theologians with tackling some of the toughest questions confronting religious belief and analyzing the challenges of sectarianism and terrorism.

The Logos Institute will build on work begun by Alan Torrance, chairman of systematic theology at St. Mary’s College at St. Andrews, and his son, Andrew Torrance, of the university’s School of Divinity. “The institute will bring this new generation of theological research into conversation with the world-class expertise we have here in biblical studies, philosophy, psychology and international relations,” Alan Torrance said.

The project will support research fellowships, six PhD scholarships, a master’s program, weblogs, a website, and podcasts. Bishop N.T. Wright, professor of New Testament and early Christianity, said: “There are few places in the world where a project this daring and creative could even be imagined; fewer still where it could be brought to birth.”

Court Rules against Rebel Bishop: The Zimbabwe High Court has ordered the rebel cleric Nolbert Kunonga and his associates to repay $428,000 to the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe. Kunonga, former Bishop of Harare, seized the shares and other church property while trying to separate from the Church of the Province of Central Africa and to form his own diocese. He and his followers used violence in attempts to take control of church buildings and schools.


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