Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sewanee's School of Theology chosen as one of six sites for project exploring the function of the Bible in the worldwide Anglican communion

[Posted originally on the University of the South alumni webmail, here]

The School of Theology at Sewanee: The University of the South has been chosen as one of six sites worldwide to host a regional group working on a major new project of the Anglican Communion. The School of Theology will host the North American group that will be part of a new exploration of the ways the Bible functions in the life of the Church.

The Rev. Robert MacSwain OGS, instructor of theology and Christian ethics at Sewanee, has been named the coordinator of the regional group, which will organize the project’s case study work within Canada and the United States.

The Bible in the Life of the Church” project was launched by the Anglican Communion late in 2009. It aims to explore how Anglicans in different contexts actually use the Bible by exploring Scripture together and reflecting on the encounter; to produce resource materials for use at all levels of Christian education; and to re-evaluate the ways in which Anglicans have heard, studied, and received Scripture.

This major three-year project was mandated by the Anglican Consultative Council at its Jamaica meeting in May 2009. It has been described by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a “serious examination of how the Bible is used in our [the Anglican Communion’s] worship and decision-making.”

While much of the project’s work will be prepared by the regionally-based groups and brought to a Communion-wide coordinating group, local groups within each region will take part in the project by contributing to and testing the material that emerges from the work of the regional groups. MacSwain says, “In this way, the project will involve wide grassroots
participation from around the Communion, as well as draw upon the work of academic biblical scholars and theologians.”
Other regional groups are based around theological education institutions in East Africa, Southern Africa, South East Asia, Oceania, and Britain.

The Very Rev. Dr. William S. Stafford, dean of the School of Theology, says, "With our faculty, who all think hard and care deeply about the Scripture's use in the church, and with Education for Ministry spreading particularly effective ways for adults to reflect on the Word and their lives, Sewanee is a natural site for a project such as this. We are honored to serve the Anglican Communion in this way."

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