If you meet George Herbert on the road, kill him

Overview

Priestly ministry in the Church of England needs a radical rethink...

George Herbert died in 1633. His legacy continues. His poems are read and sung, and his parish ministry remains the model for the Church of England's understanding of how and where and why its priests should minister. But there is a problem. The memory of Herbert celebrated by the Church is an inaccurate one, and, in its inaccuracy, is unfair on Herbert himself and his ...

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If you meet George Herbert on the road, kill him: Radically Re-Thinking Priestly Ministry

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Overview

Priestly ministry in the Church of England needs a radical rethink...

George Herbert died in 1633. His legacy continues. His poems are read and sung, and his parish ministry remains the model for the Church of England's understanding of how and where and why its priests should minister. But there is a problem. The memory of Herbert celebrated by the Church is an inaccurate one, and, in its inaccuracy, is unfair on Herbert himself and his successors in the ordained ministry.

This is a book of the long view. It sets out to assess realistically the context of Herbert's life and to explore the difficulties of parish life today. By examining the status and role of parish clergy since Herbert's time and today, it draws on the work of historians, social anthropologists, psychologists and theologians, and presents their ideas in a readable and passionate style. It argues that the future strength of parochial ministry will be found in a recovery of historic, renewed understandings of priestly ministry, and concludes by outlining more sustainable patterns of practice for the future.

In a climate of uncertainty for the future of the church, it will be an encouragement for priest and people, and welcomed by both.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781906286170
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 8/1/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,167,298
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Justin Lewis-Anthony is Rector of St Stephen's Church, Canterbury, and Associate Lecturer in the European Cultures and Languages Section of the University of Kent at Canterbury. Formerly Precentor of Christ Church, Oxford, he has lectured, and led retreats, on film, popular culture and theology, and pastoralia in Canterbury, Oxford, Salisbury, London, Exeter, Chelmsford, St Albans, St Deiniol's Library, and North America.

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Table of Contents

The book is written in three sections: the first part, Death to Herbertism, examines the history and structure of the false pattern (which the author has christened 'Herbertism'):

1 Lin-Chi, the Curate and the Anglican Divine

2 "... how many live so unlike him now... "

3 "The only thing I don't run"
4 The Cult of Nice

5 "A little soft around the edges"

After such a grim account, the second section of the book, Herbertism Habilitated, begins to draw out a new conceptual framework for ministry, based upon a lecture given by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2004. The Archbishop suggested three biblical images, which are here developed: Witness, Watchman and Weaver.

6 +ABC and the 3 Ws

7 Witness

8 Watchman
9 Weaver
10 The KGH method The final section of the book, The 'KGH' Method, becomes practical. The working out of the 3Ws requires a clear-sighted view of what is reasonable and unreasonable in parish ministry. The method is divided into five different pillars: Rule, Role, Responsibility, Reckoning and Reconciling.

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