Bible Archaeology

Archaeology after the Arab Spring

The transformative political events in the Middle East over the past two years have had, among many other unexpected outcomes, profound effects on the direction of research in Near Eastern archaeology.  War and civil unrest act as both a carrot and a stick, forcing the cessation of fieldwork in some areas, while promoting new investigations in places that might otherwise have gone unexplored. The geopolitics of the post-Arab Spring world are changing where we are able work, and by consequence they will shape the research questions we investigate, as well as the regions where future generations of scholars will likely specialize.  But the present moment of realignment is far from unique—our discipline has been shaped from the beginning by the tumultuous political history of the Middle East…

Worth a read over at The ASOR Blog.



The Episcopal Consecration of Owen Rhys Williams

Bishop Chandler Holder Jones reports on it on his BLOG. Not me. So I suppose that makes it okay to repost?!

The Consecration of the Very Reverend Owen Rhys Williams to Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of the Northeast in the Anglican Church of America took place on the Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist, Thursday, April 25th 2013 at Trinity Anglican Church Pro-Cathedral, Rochester, New Hampshire…


Read the rest here.



Profile of Anglicans

British Religion in Numbers:

… The YouGov survey which Professor Linda Woodhead commissioned to inform the 2013 series of Westminster Faith Debates, and which BRIN has been reporting after each debate, is likely to prove a very valuable dataset for subsequent secondary analysis. To illustrate the point, Professor Woodhead, with statistical support from the Revd Professor Bernard Silverman, has used the poll (conducted online among 4,437 Britons aged 18 and over on 25-30 January 2013) to undertake a segmentation analysis of contemporary Anglicans (1,261 identified themselves as such in the survey). Her findings are presented in her article ‘”Nominals” are the Church’s Hidden Strength’ in the current issue (26 April 2013, p. 16) of the Church Times. This is only available online to subscribers of the newspaper.

The analysis proper, which forms the first part of the article, distinguishes four types of Anglicans:

Godfearing Churchgoers (5% of Anglicans) – These are Anglicans who attend church, are very certain in their belief in God, and who say that God is the main source of authority in their lives. They are also likely to score highly on other indicators of religiosity (such as prayer and Bible-reading) and to hold conservative views on many issues of personal morality, particularly sexuality (setting them apart with Baptists and Muslims rather than fellow Anglicans).

Mainstream Churchgoers (12% of Anglicans) – These have more in common with Non-Churchgoing Believers than with the Godfearers. Apart from their churchgoing, they differ in being a little more religious than Non-Churchgoing Believers on a number of measures and a little more morally conservative.

Non-Churchgoing Believers (50% of Anglicans) – These share a good many of the attributes of Mainstream Churchgoers, notwithstanding that they do not attend church. They all believe in God (although some prefer the word Spirit), and significant numbers practise religious or spiritual activities regularly. ‘These “nominals” are more than Anglican in name only: they believe, practise, and identify with Anglicanism.’

Non-Churchgoing Doubters (33% of Anglicans) – These Anglicans are also more than merely nominal. Only 15% are outright atheists, most being agnostic or unsure about God, and more than one-fifth claim to practise some religious or spiritual activity in private. They are the most morally permissive of the four groups.

The second half of the article is an impassioned – some may say occasionally idealized – plea for the Church of England to take more seriously non-churchgoing Anglicans in general, and Non-Churchgoing Believers in particular, rather than representing Godfearing Churchgoers as the ‘most real Anglicans’. Woodhead contends that the Church is in danger of becoming too clerical and congregationally-based, and of abandoning its sense of being a lay institution governed by monarch and Parliament, and responsible to the people.

The whole piece is here.



More on Blogging Priests

Fr Anthony Chadwick reflects:

Fr Stephen Smuts has reflected one of my closely-held convictions, that blogging can be a true Christian ministry… As I have experienced, the blog (or for that matter other social media like Facebook and Twitter) can be used for good or evil. If used for the purpose of pastoral ministry and Christian teaching, then it is excellent and should be encouraged by bishops and religious superiors.

It is spiritually and emotionally wearing, especially when we have to deal with conflict, in an environment where a person would be more evil or lacking in empathy in his or her expression than he or she would dare in a face-to-face situation. In a way, this is reassuring to the priest who asks himself whether blogging really is a true ministry…

You can read the whole post here.

There are more and more of us priests doing it and writing blogs on our own account as well as on behalf of our Churches. Many bishops are only beginning to discover what the Internet really is and what it is not. Church websites are vital, but the dynamism of the blog is what keeps it interesting to follow…

He understands the concept and medium of blogging well.



Priests on the Blogs

A thorny issue… for some… Priests and blogs. The new media. The room for evangelism is tremendous.  Furthering the cause of Christ. For others, this is simply a no-brainer:

The Pope Emeritus gets it.

“Priests stand at the threshold of a new era… as new technologies create deeper forms of relationship across greater distances, priests are called to respond pastorally by putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word…

Give a ‘soul’ to the fabric of communications that makes up the ‘Web’.”

Patriarch Kirill gets it.

“Blogs and social networks give us new opportunities for the Christian mission” at a time when the Church comes under attacks more often than before, the patriarch said. “Not to be present there means to display our helplessness and lack of care for the salvation of our brothers.”

“Now that social media shows a huge interest, although not always a sound one, in church life, our duty is to convert it for a good cause, to create conditions for young people to know about Christ, know the truth about the life of people inside the Church,”

These guys (Anglican Catholics) get it.

Speaking of the Anglican Catholics, Fr Ed Bakker, today, asks the question: How should one behave as a Priest on a blog?

With so many Priests being involved in blogging I think it would be good if we had a guideline how to behave , especially when we deal with those, who just happen to disagree with us and make comments, which perhaps are not appropriate…

For the rest, go here.

He concludes with the Collect of Purity. We need a lot more purity and charity, all-around.

Again, the cause of Christ and His Gospel must be furthered. There are souls to be saved!

Blog, Priests, blog!

The Church should be building platforms of social influence that extend well beyond the four walls of the Sunday experience.

All God’s people: Go forth into the digital world and proclaim the good news!