Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

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Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:44 pm

This takes the form of an imaginary (or not so imaginary) dialogue between me - Dick Whittington -and a very bright button with the curiosity of Yentil the Yeshiva boy :-D

Dick said

A question for all and sundry here. Who is meant to have said 'We are not a tyrant, we would not make windows into men's souls'? Clue - it was a woman, she was a Queen of England. And how could this be a criticism of the habits of sectarian Calvinists? (because it was). Answers on a postcard please - well a post will do. At least try to get who you think may have said it with that big clue I've given :-D much love from 'once a teacher, always a bloody teacher'.


A very bright button said

I was thinking it was the Virgin Queen


Dick said

Well done; it was Elizabeth - or her speech writer. Her idea was that as long as you conformed to the outward practices of the Anglican Church then it was not her business to question your conscience about your opinions. Contrast this to Calvin's Geneva - know as 'The City of Glass' -because everyone knew everyone else's business and enquired into the exact nature of their neighbours beliefs.


Very bright button said

I was in an Anglican community the other day. The liturgy was all very traditional but when we got round to supper everyone had different views on everything!


Dick said

Exactly - and we share a common faith but apprehend it largely as mystery. Of course the task of theology to articulate faith rationally is noble and splendid and necessary but still theology is nourished by mystery. And the mystery of faith it will mean slightly different things to different people and slightly different things to the same person at different stages of their life. In essentials, unity; in opinions, latitude and in all things, charity. We would not make windows into men's souls - we are not tyrants :-)

And as for Elizabeth? – well it is very hard to make a window into her soul because she kept her opinions closely guarded. However, when she became Queen one of the first acts of her new Archbishop was to abolish the article that required Anglicans to believe in eternal damnation (and Anglican Universalist ever since have seen this as the thumbs up within their tradition). I have studied this closely and concluded that it is impossible to say why this was done –there are no records of the meeting extant and all the rest is speculation.

However I can say that Elizabeth, within her Royal household, had members of the Family of Love a sect who taught the basic old universalist teaching that ‘nothing perishes in hell but self will’. – and she protected them against Calvinist persecution. It seems that it was due to her that ‘comfortable words’ were including in the prayer book reminding people of God’s great mercy to all, and that the funeral service includes the affirmation for anyone buried in an Anglican Church – which meant just about everyone then – that they will rise again in glory (Calvinists lobbied parliament to have this ‘Origenist’ service changes – without success)

When she came to power there were no reprisals against the Catholic persecutions of her sister Bloody Mary; and for fifteen years no one was killed for their faith – an incredible record at a time when Europe was convulsed in religious slaughter. After this with repeated assassination attempts on her life and rebellions by Catholic plotters, a fatwa on her from the then Pope, and planned and real invasion by Catholic Princes, her administration became paranoid and did persecute the Catholics – some of whom were terrorists and traitors, tethers who were innocent.

Elizabeth also had to please a fast growing sect of Calvinists in her realm but made life difficult for their priests by insisting that they had to wear the flowery surplice at communion and not the stark black Geneva gown as they wished (which was a bit like making American Football players dress up in pink tutus.

Elizabeth – whether a universalist or not - is a key figure in the story of Anglican universalism and was nurtured in the Christian humanism of Erasmus, the great Origen scholar


Very bright button said

Inver knew Elizabeth was so cool, She gets the thumbs up from me. Now I know all about the 42nd article being abolished under Elizabeth – the one that required Anglicans to believe in eternal damnation – but what about the Athanasian Creed? Aren’t Anglicans required to believe this by the Prayer Book?


Dick said

It was taken out of the Episcopalian prayer book when America won independence – mainly through the influence of Episcopalian Universalists. The English Church let them do their own thing graciously because they were worried that the Episcopalians might link up with English and Scottish Anglicans who supported Bonnie Prince Charlie – and the his followers the Jacobites still posed a threat in England at this date.

There is another article that says that the pronouncements of the Church Councils are always open to revisions – and this cover the damnatory clauses because since the seventeenth century Anglican scholars have known that the Athanasian creed was not written by Athanasius – and the real Athanasius was actually sympathetic to universalism.

The Athanasian creed was used in the last prosecution for blasphemy against a universalist in England in the nineteenth century– eh was found guilty but when referred to the privy council the case was thrown out. An English wit made some witty comment about this begin an instance of freeborn Englishmen defending their right to be eternally damned.

The thirty nine articles is actually a very subtle document – the different articles can be balanced against each other in different ways – this was Elizabeth’s intention – so that everyone could think that they agreed although they disagreed and could therefore live in peace.


Very bright button said

So the Episcopalians were largely responsible decline in the use of the Athanasian Creed by Anglicans?


Dick said

It was taken out of the Episcopalian prayer book when America won independence – mainly through the influence of Episcopalian Universalists. The English Church let them do their own thing graciously because they were worried that the Episcopalians might link up with English and Scottish Anglicans who supported Bonnie Prince Charlie – and the his followers the Jacobites still posed a threat in England at this date.

There is another article that says that the pronouncements of the Church Councils are always open to revisions – and this cover the damnatory clauses because since the seventeenth century Anglican scholars have known that the Athanasian creed was not written by Athanasius – and the real Athanasius was actually sympathetic to universalism.

The Athanasian creed was used in the last prosecution for blasphemy against a universalist in England in the nineteenth century– eh was found guilty but when referred to the privy council the case was thrown out. An English wit made some witty comment about this being an instance of freeborn Englishmen defending their right to be eternally damned :-D

The Thirty Nine Articles is actually a very subtle document – the different articles can be balanced against each other in different ways – this was Elizabeth’s intention – so that everyone could think that they agreed although they disagreed and could therefore live in peace.


Very bright button said

What is this Article that says that Church Councils can err? And can you give me a quote from Athanasius about universal salvation?



Dick said

Will get back you on this - there's loads of derailed stuff at EU about this. The debunking of the Athanasian Creed came first - a Dutch Christian Humanist did the work (also in Anglican minor orders). IT was written at least a hundred and fifty years after Athanasius died and probably in Southern France and is written to combat heresies that weren't around in Athanasius' day. And it has some of the temper of St Augustine in it. It has never been accepted by the whole of the Eastern Church so it is not an ecumenical creed.

The damnatory clauses of the Athanasian creed were strongly disliked by influential Anglicans from the seventeenth century onwards - John Wesley strongly disapproved of them for example. I think the Episcopalians just had the opportunity to do what other Broad/Comprehensive Church Anglicans in England wanted to do anyway - the Anglican traditionalists in America had supported the Crown against the revolution, so didn't have a lot of clout. The Anglican ultra conservative traditionalists in American are descended from the Anglican traditionalists of those times.

The creed is not often used in broad Church Anglicanism's today - and some who use it omit the damnatory clauses - there is latitude in this. However, very conservative Anglo Catholics and Evangelicals still use it.

Athanasius was a universalist sympathiser who had the notion of apocatastasis underpinning his theology is looked at in detail by Illaria Ramelli (the leading authority) and Jason has summarised her argument's at EU.

The Article about error and Church Councils is I Article 21 –

Of the authority of General Councils

‘’General councils... when they be gather together (inasmuch as they be assemblies of men, in which all may not be governed by the Spirit and the Word God) may err, even in things pertaining to God. Therefore the things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength not authority, unless it may be declared that they are taken out of holy scripture’’.

This opens up Anglicanism to the future. Note it means that even the council that formulated the Thirty Nine Articles was prone to error. This article needs to be balanced against –

Article 8

The three Creeds

‘’The three creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius Creed and that which is commonly called the Apostle’s Creed ought thoroughly to be received and believed for they are proved by most certain warrants of holy scripture’’.

Well at this time the Athanasian Creed was commonly thought to be consonant with holy writ not regarding damnation but regarding it’s doctrine of the Trinity because there was forged passage in John’s first Epistle – known as the Johannine Comma and accepted as genuine – which stated a fully developed doctrine of the Trinity. This passages is no longer included in Bibles today – everyone knows it was a medieval forgery (Erasmus was the first to cast doubts on it because it cannot to be found in any early Greek manuscripts of the NT -only in Jerome’s Latin version).

Also one of Elizabeth’s Bishops - Bishop Jewell – was aware of the murmurings about the Athanasian Creed not being genuine. A Christian Humanist scholar had published a book about it in Greek –because he was too scared to publish the same in Latin with a wider readership. Jewell had read this book – acknowledged its conclusions -but kept his mouth shut.

The Articles are only binding - in a very lose sense - to clergymen. They have never been binding upon the laity. I think if seen in their historical context none are actually necessarily offensive to a universalist (I can recommend a short book that looks at this in detail - and note the article on predestination, for example, only affirms predestination to life - but not predestination to hell).


Very bright button said –

I must give the Thirty Nine Articles another go – but I’ve always been put off by them since I come from an Anglo Catholic background. And I must find out more about Erasmus.

Dick said –

In the nineteenth century there was a movement of Anglican Anglo Catholics – known as the ‘Tractarians’ or ‘Oxford Movement’. Some of them actually converted to Catholicism in the need – like John Henry Newman – later Cardinal Newman and he’s recently been made a Catholic Saint I believe; but many remained Anglicans and their writings are still influential on Anglican Anglo Catholics. They were known as ‘Tractarians’ because they wrote and published a series of Tracts for our Times’ arguing for a more Catholic interpretation of the 39 Articles.

There had always been a more or less Catholic wing of the Church of England alongside a more or less Protestant wing. Elizabeth had even seen to it that Anglicans were allowed either to kneel or stand when receiving holy communion to include both – much to the outrage of the hard line Calvinists. She also suppressed the ‘black rubric’ from Cranmer’s prayer book which was a public cursing of the Pope. But the nineteenth century Oxford Tractarians took Anglican Catholicism to new heights – and outraged Evangelicals spoke of their high Church celebrations of the Eucharist as profanities in the temples of Juno and mars :-D

Indeed where I live the Parish Church of St George’s had an Oxford Movement vicar installed in the mid nineteenth century, and the evangelicals in the town rioted - with a quite serious outbreak of violence - and took themselves off up the High Street and built another Church ‘ Christ Church’ – that is still the hub of Conservative Evangelicalism in Beckenham today.

The Tractarians pushed the boat out too far – in the eyes of Evangelicals’-when they argues that Purgatory and Prayers for the dead were compatible with Anglicanism and the Thirty Nine Articles where they ‘seem’ to be forbidden. Well certainly the ‘Romish’ doctrine of Purgatory is forbidden in the articles. But IMHO the Tractarains had a fair point in saying that it was only forbidden because the doctrine had been abused by the medieval Roman Catholic Church with the sale of indulgences to enrich the Church under the guise that you could buy off God’s wrath for your loved ones, and by the novel teaching that purgatory is a less permanent hell where God punished people to satisfy his wrath rather than a place of purification.

Also although Elizabeth allowed the article that showed disapproval of prayers for the dead – she privately approved of these prayers because she wanted the first prayer book to be restored in a revised form (not Cranmer’s second prayer book – which is what actually happened). The first prayer book was written by Cranmer before the continental Reformers Martin Bucer and Peter Martyr had an influence eon him – and it included prayers for the dead. And as a sort of counter measure Elizabeth allowed a manual of personal devotional prayers for Anglicans’ – a primer – to be printed with her approval that included prayers for the dead.

If you are ever seriously thinking of becoming an Anglican – and whatever you decide is fine by me – since you have a very enquiring mind like Yentil the Yeshiva Boy :-D I’d recommend you first read ‘On the Thirty Nine Articles; Conversations with Tudor Christianity’ by Oliver O’Donovan. Read it and we can also discuss it if you wish.

Regarding Erasmus – well my view is that he was a secret universalist who made space for universalism but didn’t completely reveal his hand because he cared about Church unity at a time when universalism was seen as sheer madness.

Elizabeth’s tutor Roger Ascham was a Protestant Christian humanist scholar in the tradition of Erasmus. Elizabeth herself translated potions of Erasmus in English translation back into Latin when she was a teenager. She also insisted that Erasmus’s Paraphrases of the New Testament be used in all Anglican Churches alongside the very Protestant ‘The Bishops Bible – this was before the King James’s version had been made – and that all Anglican clergy who had an MA or Doctorate should have a copy of Erasmus Annotations of the New Testament in Greek (which doesn’t mention universalism explicitly but uses Origen as the chief authority on how to interpret difficult passages).


Very bright button said

I wish I had something more to say - but I must read the Articles again a.s.a.p.


Dick replied

You are a very good listener!!!! -and only listen if what I write/say is interesting to you ;-) - Och I can bore for England if I'm not careful. I think the thirty nine articles mean very little to most lay Anglicans - they don't even read them. They are an historical testimony to a noble and largely successful attempt to keep peace between warring religious parties - and the threat to the peace of the realm was always very serious. Once upon a time a new Vicar would have to read them all out when he first became incumbent in a new Church - I witnessed this in 1972 but I'm not sure this is still the case. But that was not to impose them on the parishioners - rather it was to state that in some general sense the vicar could agree with the spirit of them rather than the letter. But they would matter to you because you are naturally curious :-D Don't read the Articles 'cold'!!! :-D. Read the book I've recommended . If you like I can get a copy for you on Amazon and have it delivered to your address - its; not a big or long book or an expensive book - but its a very good book :-)
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby JasonPratt » Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:38 pm

Ahem. Squee.

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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby DaveB » Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:43 pm

Are you two yahoos speaking in code? "Yentl the Yeshiva Boy" and Godzilla? :lol:
Good to hear from you Dick.
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:28 pm

Good to hear from you too old mate - and love the new avatar :D - Och well I haven't had a chance to ask Yentil although I know they wouldn't mind - but I've disguised their identity as a matter of honour. I wonder who it could be?
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby ChrisB » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:34 pm

Almost thou persuadist me to be an Anglican once more Dick (I was one by default many years ago). Ah the Virgin Queen was one canny lady!
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:27 am

Indeed she was :-)
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Kate » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:27 am

Hmmm... who could this 'Yentl' be...? ;)
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Caleb Fogg » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:11 am

Awesome stuff, as usual, Dick. I'm a bit embarrassed at my lack of historical knowledge. You inspire me to know more. Elizabeth sounds like a fascinating individual. After reading your bit, I looked up reviews on the two Elizabeth films with Cate Blanchett. The first one got good reviews, and the second did not, but I'm hesitant to watch the first one because of all the sensuality and nudity that's in it. I typically watch movies with my wife, and she would not be happy. I don't need that stuff in my head either. Be that as it may, did you see either movie and think they were any good?

You also bring up Erasmus again, who you got me interested in after mentioning him in the McClymond threads. (Its a shame he didn't continue to engage with you, or Ramelli or Tom Talbott.) Makes me wonder if he just blew off those responses, or was embarrassed, or just too busy, or couldn't emotionally deal with all this contrary evidence to this super long book he's writing). Anyways, I came upon this great article on Erasmus by Ron Dart (who is a buddy of Kevin Miller of Hellbound? fame and was in the movie I believe): http://www.incommunion.org/2012/12/05/erasmus-of-rotterdam-the-church-fathers/

Also, do you have a source or context for your frequent salutation "In Christ our Hen", which you've attributed to Erasmus? I like that a lot!

The book by Oliver O'Donovan may end up on my reading list. I'd never heard of him, but he seems to have written quite a few very interesting books. Have you read anything else by him?

Cheers,

Caleb

Edit: just realized the last word in Ron Dart's article is sobornost, which I promptly looked up on Wikipedia. I had always wondered what that meant!
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:30 am

Lovely - am busy now but will get back to you - and I have some more posts that spiral no the subject I can place here - including one on 'Christ our Hen' if you'd like that. And Kate is Yentil btw :-D Yes shame about Dr Mike - he was actually growing on me :-D One day I may write a proper book about this -that's why I'm just spiralling on the subject here :-) I'm seeing a Professor for a chat soon (my ex manager and old friend) and hope for some final leads in my research about Erasmus and a few other bods; but will read your article :-) and do some further posts.
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Caleb Fogg » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:58 am

I'd love to hear more about "Christ our Hen"
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:28 pm

Very bright button, a.k.a. 'Yentil' a.k.a. 'our Kate' said:

‘Who first said ‘In Christ our Hen?’


Dick said:

‘‘Christ our Hen’ - as we know - refers to Christ weeping over the fate of Jerusalem wishing he could cluck his children to himself like a Mother Hen and prevent the slide towards destruction.

Funnily enough one person who later made use of this image was St Anselm – the man who invented the first model of Penal Substitution (in which God’s honour is infinitely offended by our sin – because God and His hour infinite and we are not – rather than his abstract justice being infinitely offended as Calvin later taught). He had a rather confused view of the Trinity as if God was the furious, brutal and unforgiving ‘Pop’, with Christ as the ‘Mom’ Hen whose feathered skirts we could hide under from Pop’s raging. Anselm also wrote some very disturbing poetry in which Jesus is both male and female and the two aspects are in conflict. He was Archbishop of Canterbury to a brutal Norman king who oppressed his Saxon people and took infinite offence at any murmurings from them retaliating with terrible, draconian punishments.

Of course in Mother Julian Jesus is spoken of as both male and female in a symbolic way – but the two aspects are at peace and in gentle harmony because God is not ‘wroth’ with us in Julian’s reckoning. As far as I know she does not speak of ‘Christ as our Hen’.

But Erasmus does speak of the ‘Christ Hen’– he did not know Julian but he was well versed in Origen. In an exchange between he and Luther, Luther declares– ‘‘you and your peace loving Gospel – you don’t care about truth’’. But Erasmus protests in reply in ‘Complaint of Peace’- ‘’What happens to truth when men are embroiled in wars of religion...How can you say ‘Our Father’ if you plunge steel into the guts of your brother? Christ compared himself to a Hen: Christians behave like Hawks. Christ was a shepherd of sheep; Christians tear like wolves’’.

I cannot remember where, but I’ve also seen an early Quaker speak of ‘Christ our Hen’ too. The Quaker intellectuals – William Penn, Robert Barclay, and Isaac Pennington – used Erasmus to support their beliefs and practices just as the earlier Anglicans had done. And from the above quotation we can see why. Luther is fixated upon correct definitions of justification by faith alone and is prepared to go to war and kill over these. But for Erasmus the Way of Christ (which he also sometimes termed ‘The Philosophy of Christ’ – by which he meant a practical wisdom) is about living with faithful love rather than holding accurate definitions – and this is exactly what the Quakers argued and it also informs the idea of the middle way in Anglicanism.

In Christ our Hen’


Very bright button, a.k.a. ‘Yentil’ a.k.a. ‘our Kate’ said:

‘Ah, so the phrase is indirectly Quaker (very Quaker, but indirectly Quaker). That explains why I couldn’t find anything about its Quaker roots except for an article written by a certain Richard Whittington ;-)

Of course I’ve always loved the term. When I attended a Quaker Meeting, and a ‘Public Friend’ spoke about the saying, she emphasized that it pointed to a feminine nature of Christ. I think that is very true and wise, but I think there is more to the saying, pointing to a deeper truth. Christ is not just ‘motherly’, but he expects the same loving , nurturing, and caring attitude from his followers.

Speaking of hens, I must be going, because I’m supposed to make some chicken salad for supper tonight 

In Christ our Hen’
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:38 pm

And here are some quotations from the lovely introduction to Erasmus article that Caleb has posted - which includes the Christ the Hen quotation from 'Complaint of Peace'. All illustrate Erasmus point about Christ as or Hen - Thanks Caleb !!! :-) :-) :-)

Wherever you encounter truth, look upon it as Christianity.”

“There is nothing more wicked, more disastrous, more widely destructive, more deeply tenacious, more loathsome [than war]…. Whoever heard of a hundred thousand animals rushing together to butcher each other, as men do everywhere?”

Erasmus excoriated theologians who tried to justify war on the ground that Christ said “Let him who has no sword sell his mantel and buy one.” “As if Christ, who taught nothing but patience and meekness, meant the sword used by bandits and murderers rather than the sword of the Spirit. Our exegete thinks that Christ equipped the apostles with lances, crossbows, slings, and muskets.” (btw in his Annotations he used Origen to counter the violent interpretation of this text)

“I would be glad to be a martyr for Christ, but I cannot be a martyr for Luther.”

“It is no great feat to burn a little man. It is a great achievement to persuade him.”

“How can you say Our Father if you plunge steel into the guts of your brother? Christ compared himself to a hen: Christians behave like hawks. Christ was a shepherd of sheep: Christians tear each other like wolves.”

“I see you, while the standard of salvation is in one hand, rushing on with a sword in the other, to the murder of your brother; and, under the banner of the cross, destroying the life of one who owes his salvation to the cross. Even from the Holy Sacrament itself, (for it is sometimes, at the same hour, administered in opposite camps) in which is signified the complete union of all Christians, the warriors, who have just received it, run instantly to arms, and endeavor to plunge the dreadful steel into each other’s vitals. Of a scene thus infernal, and fit only for the eyes of accursed spirits, who delight in mischief and misery, the pious warriors would make Christ the spectator.”

Erasmus was disgusted by the incivility and humourlessness of militant Protestants: “I have seen them return from hearing a sermon as if inspired by an evil spirit. Their faces all showed a curious wrath and ferocity.”

In The Complaint of Peace, Peace herself rises to complain about how much her name is praised by one and all yet how few live peaceful lives. “Without me there is no growth, no safety for life, nothing pure or holy, nothing agreeable, while war is a vast ocean of all the evils combined, harmful to everything in the universe.”

“We must look for peace by purging the very sources of war—false ambitions and evil desires. As long as individuals serve their own personal interests, the common good will suffer. Let them examine the self-evident fact that this world of ours is the fatherland of the entire human race.”
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Caleb Fogg » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:43 pm

Yeah, I forgot that that Christ our Hen quote was in that article. But you helped provide the context of it in his engagement with Luther. What type of engagement was this? Letter's or manuscripts back and forth, a public debate?

And do you have any idea of how Erasmus interpreted the violent OT texts, like the slaughter of the Canaanites, and the Levites killing their fellow Jews over the Golden Calf? I would guess that militant protestants (can we group Calvin and Luther there?) would point to the OT texts to justify their approval of violent means.
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:26 pm

The correspondence with Luther was by letter. They didn't like each other - they had completely different temperaments. The only Reformer as far as I know that Erasmus is on record as saying 'I never disliked you' was Martin Bucer - who was the most conciliatory of the Reformers and had a great influence on Cranmer's second prayer book in the Reformed direction but not in a Calvinist one. but he didn't approve of Bucer's claim that he spoke with direct inspiration from the Holy Spirit. Erasmus only ever claimed to be a humble follower in the school of Christ who saw through a glass darkly. (

When this topic was first broached at EU there was some speculation that Bucer may have influenced the cancelling of the Anglican 42nd article about the necessity for believing in hell. But after much research I do not think this is so. Bucer was a moderate man in terms of the Reformers and was a tutor of Elizabeth's first Archbishop the irenic Matthew Parker - but when he was Protestant magistrate Strasbourg he had had Hans Denck banished because of claims that Denck was a universalist (but he was charitable to Denck in saying that he thought him a fine man of good courage - and he didn't have him killed). There was also speculation that Matthew Parker may have been behind the cancelation or abrogation of the 42nd article. However, although we do not have the minutes of Convocation, Parker's annotations and deletions and proposed additions to Cranmer's articles that he made beforehand as a basis for discussion and in his own hand do still exist. And the 42nd article is not crossed out in this. So whatever the reasons for its abrogation was, this happened in Convocation and/or was influenced by pressure from the Queen or her Ministers. There are lots of theories about this - but they can never be more than theories.

Regarding Erasmus and the OT - Erasmus believed that the OT was like a Platonic shadow of the New (using imagery from the Book of Hebrews'). And with the light of the New the clear day light of Christ has illumined and dispersed the shadows in the OT. So the OT must be interpreted in the light of the NT (as Origen also thought). I'm not sure what Erasmus made of the genocide texts but will find out for you some day soon I hope. Origen ceritainly consigned the genocide texts to allegory about spiritual struggle against vices - in his opinion they were not to be taken literally, Origen assigned four levels of meaning to scripture - literal/historical, moral, allegoric, and spiritual. Some assume that he thought all of scripture had all four levels of meaning - but this is not so (as his commentary on Joshua makes very clear). Some passages of stature, in his view, had all four levels of meaning but others had just one or two levels of meaning - especially those he found morally dubious in the daylight of Christ. Erasmus was enthusiastic about Origen's fourfold level of interpretation - this much I do know.
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:37 am

Btw If anyone wants to check what I’ve said about Origen’s commentary on Joshua, Philip Jenkins looks at this in relevant detail on pages 193-5 of his book Laying Down the Sword. The chapter’s title is ‘Coming to Terms’ (with the OT genocide tests) and the section title is ‘Shadowing Mysteries’. I’ve no reason to doubt Jenkins here – thus far I’ve only read Origen’s commentaries on Genesis, Matthew and John and I will get round to cheeking what Jenkins says soon by reading Origen’s commentary on Joshua. But I’ve no reason to doubt him. He is an internationally recognised scholar and was advised by many other scholars of high repute and integrity while writing this book – and he makes good use of sourced quotations.
The stuff I’ve said about Erasmus – of him taking up the view of the OT as a ‘shadowing mystery’ and of him using Origen as his authority to counter the violet interpretation of Jesus’ saying about selling your cloak to buy a sword comes from M,A. Screech’s ‘Laughter at the Foot of the Cross’ – one of my favourite all time books; and Screech is a scholar who really known his onions concerning Erasmus. I won’t give further details here – if I write my book I’ll cover these points in more detail – but you can trust me on this (or PM me if you want to pin me down for more information because you want to read these secondary sources for yourself).

I’m not trying to push an agenda here for Non –violent theology – although I do hold to a no utopian version of non violent theology (and it is a nuanced position that I’ve gone into on other threads here). As those of you here who have read some of my posts about non violent theology will know I am not a utopian pacifist – neither were Erasmus or Elizabeth!!! – but i do think use of violence should be seen as a necessary evil and never as a positive good, and that force should always be used without triumph and with much thinking through. I am in favour of dialogue between Christian utopians and Christians following a Just War traction on this score – because Christian Just War tradition actually underpins the Geneva Convention. But on this thread the issues have only come up because they are relevant – and you can judge for yourself about Erasmus and Elizabeth 

I am happy to probe a little further into Erasmus de bates with Luther and – of you wish – into the theories around the cancellation/ suppression/ abrogation (what you will) of the 42nd Article, Not in great detail – but I am happy to give a little more detail.

In Christ our Hen ;)


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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby JasonPratt » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:07 pm

As an aside, I think I recall an early focus (e.g. from Justin Martyr?) on comparing Christ to the phoenix, though this was eventually dropped; but the legend of the phoenix must have been originally inspired by occasionally finding mother birds (like hens) who sacrificed themselves to protect their chicks during a fire. That's certainly the concept that would have come to mind to those who heard Christ giving this lament.
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Geoffrey » Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:27 pm

Clement of Rome in the 25th chapter of his first epistle (certainly written in the 1st century, perhaps as early as the late 60s) wrote the following about the phoenix:

Let us consider that wonderful sign [of the resurrection] which takes place in eastern lands, that is, in Arabia and the countries round about. There is a certain bird which is called a phoenix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices, into which, when the time is fulfilled, it enters and dies. But as the flesh decays a certain kind of worm is produced, which, being nourished by the juices of the deed bird, brings forth feathers. Then, when it has acquired strength, it takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parent, and bearing these it passes from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. And, in open day, flying in the sight of all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done this, hastens back to its former abode. The priests then inspect the registers of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly as the five hundredth year was completed.
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:20 am

I think that in medieval bestiaries Christ was also compared to the Mother Pelican whom they wrongly believed would die to feed it's children by pecking at its own breast and feeing the flesh to them. I know that King Lear in Shakespeare calls his ungrateful daughters who are breaking his heart with their cruelty his 'Pelican Daughters'.

And that's interesting about the Phoenix too Jason :-) because the alchemists of Erasmus day - the sort of people he thought fools and charlatans ( and was probably right about most of them) - had a sort of garbled memory of this. For them the Phoenix arising from ashes symbolised the successful transmutation of based metal into gold (and perhaps some actually did see this spiritual transformation as the true essence of Alchemy - but there were lots of 'puffers' motivated by pure greed). I think sacrificial love, nurturing 'motherly' qualities (in both women and men) and seeking the peace frits instead of reaching for war and violence for instant gratification are all related :-) And there is a very old saying - 'The fool finds gold in a ruin, while the alchemist dies in pain (of lead poisoning?). :)
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Caleb Fogg » Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:40 am

Some Pics: (If you click on the pics, you can see the whole image at once)

a-hen-with-chicks-gathered.jpg
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This one's funny:
chippysbird3.jpg
chippysbird3.jpg (125.25 KiB) Viewed 9396 times


My favorite:
hen,chick.jpg
hen,chick.jpg (206.25 KiB) Viewed 9396 times
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:04 pm

Cluck, cluck :D Have you got any other questions - Caleb or anyone else?
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Caleb Fogg » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:37 pm

I think I'm good for now Dick. One interesting thing about the last hen picture is that it was from a vegetarian Quaker website. The corresponding article had some interesting an interesting section:


God as Bird
We could turn to Biblical examples of God not anthropomorphized, but pollo-morphized: i.e., represented as a chicken.

In the beginning, God hovered or brooded over the earth. The first image of God in the Bible is of a brooding female bird; the earth is God’s egg, or chick, upon which God is hovering, or brooding. John Wesley comments thus on Genesis 1:2, “The Spirit of God was the first Mover; He moved upon the face of the waters--He moved upon the face of the deep, as the hen gathereth her chicken under her wings, and hovers over them, to warm and cherish them, Mt 23:37 [and] as the eagle stirs up her nest, and fluttereth over her young, ('tis the same word that is here used)."

I asked activist Karen Davis to define brooding for us. She wrote: “‘Brooding’ is when a hen decides --has a mind-- to sit on a clutch of eggs, and her mood to do so is called ‘broody.’ She’s a ‘broody hen’ because she is totally focused on her eggs/embryos and, after they hatch, on keeping her chicks warm, dry and safe, by taking them periodically through the day, and at night, under her wings for the first two months or so."

Before there were humans, the Biblical writers tell us, there was the idea of the chicken, or of some fowl who behaves similarly to chickens. One thing this opening of Genesis seems to me to say, is that before chickens even existed, God had in God’s mind (there I go anthropomorphizing) the idea of the chicken, the idea of what a chicken’s maternal care looked like. Do we perhaps anthropomorphize God to avoid encountering God pollomorphized?

In Deuteronomy 32: 11-12, God is represented as an eagle mother who not only nurtures her young, but empowers them as well; there is a suggestion that she makes the nest uncomfortable so they will try their wings, but if they don't make it, she catches them: “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.” (KJV) Similarly, in Isaiah 31:5 "Like birds hovering overhead, the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem; he will shield it and deliver it, he will 'pass over' it and will rescue it."

The idea of God's being like a chicken makes many uncomfortable--or perhaps ought to. In Bill Watterson's comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, an anxious Calvin at the dinner table raises the prickly question to his oblivious parents: "What if we die and it turns out God is a big chicken?
eternalconsequences.gif
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What then ?!" Calvin shouts the obvious answer, perhaps, to his own question about a pollomorphized God: “Eternal consequences, that’s what!”


http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue77.html

The Jeremiah passage was interesting. Sounds like Jesus may have had this passage in mind in Matthew 23:37. The Jews of Jesus' day probably assumed that God would shield Jerusalem, and Jesus wants to say, "Yahweh wants to shield you through me, but you are not willing."
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:44 pm

How wonderful Caleb and hey - I've just found an email from my friend Yentil from June of this year - and I'm sure Yentil won't mind me sharing (this was before Yentil's trip to the Anglican community):-) It sort of complements your post :-)

Just returned from the Quakers.:) It was a wonderful service-- rather healing, I'd say, to just sit in a pew with God, not worrying about anything. It was a semi-programmed Meeting, so there was silence, then a short message, then silence, and then prayer requests-- or petitions to be held "In the Light."



Actually, you'll be surprised to know that you and I both made the sermon! :-D Yes, that's right-- All the way from England, you somehow made the sermon! ;-D You see, I emailed the minister earlier this week, as you know, inquiring about that particular Meeting's tolerance for belief in universal restoration. I ended my initial letter with "In Christ our Hen," explaining it is something that my Quaker(ish) British friend frequently says. The minister really loved it, and she joked about using it in the sermon-- I figured she was teasing, but right there at the top of today's bulletin was Matthew 23:37, and the message was based off the saying. She even described it as "cheeky," so of course, it was like she was channeling Dick Whittington.:-D




Oddly enough, after the Meeting, the minister (Donne-- pronounced Donnie), told me that she googled the saying and came across the loveliest article from a man who also used "In Christ our Hen." She mentioned that he, however, was part of a group from St. James' called--here she fumbled for the names--called the Vagabonds. Of course, I clarified that this person was precisely the Friend (and friend) I had mentioned earlier!




So I hope that adds a smile to your day-- You have some Quaker fans.:-D




Other than that, the Meeting was nice. They typically have a potluck afterwards but had a business meeting today, so I didn't get to talk to too many people. Shortly after I arrived into the foyer and received a visitor's packet, a random other inquiring college kid and second-time visitor came in, too. He struck me as a reddish-haired version of Matt--remarkably so-- so we sat together through the service and then talked later with a few others. Overall, I got more of a welcome there among the small gathering than I have among the larger churches I've visited.




So that is my tale of the Quakers.:)




In Christ our Hen. :-)
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Caleb Fogg » Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:18 am

That's a fun story. Thanks for sharing!

One other note about Jesus as a mother hen. I have heard NT Wright share an anecdote when teaching on this passage. (I don't recall the original source, but it was a while back when I was listening to a lot of audio by him). He talks about a mother hen's who, after a barnyard fire, was found dead with live chicks under her wings. I thought it was a cool story at the time, but I have doubts about the veracity of the story (whether it actually happens in real life). Apparently it may actually be a bit of urban legend, as seen here:
http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/m/motherbird.htm#.U_iT5PldWSo
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:39 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Well Nick Wright is a bullish man - I've seen him live in a debate and he goes in punching and snarling - so I hope he was suitably chastened (although I really admire Nick and once met a primary school headmistress from up North at a summer party. Nick had visited when he was Bishop of Durham - and she went all bashful when he was mentioned and would just say - 'Oh that Nick - he's a bonny lad, a bonny lad - and he was a darling with my kids' :-))

Anyway those urban myths remind of the medieval bestiaries - that were all base on hearsay too - travellers tales passed on by word of mouth. And so my contribution to the continuation foo this very pleasant conversation must be a medieval bestiary description Christ our Pelican (makes sense :-?)

General Attributes

As young pelicans grow, they begin to strike their parents in the face with their beaks. Though the pelican has great love for its young, it strikes back and kills them. After three days, the mother pierces her side or her breast and lets her blood fall on the dead birds, and thus revives them. Some say it is the male pelican that kills the young and revives them with his blood.

Pelicans live in Egypt. There are two kinds: one kind lives on water and eats poisonous animals like crocodiles and lizards; the other kind, with a long neck and beak, makes a sound like an ass when it drinks (this kind is called the onocrotalus). Some say that the two kinds are distinguished by other attributes: the kind that live in water eat fish, while the kind that live on islands eat dirty animals. The pelican has an insatiable hunger, and because its stomach cannot hold food for long, everything it eats is immediately digested.


Allegory/Moral


The pelican is Christ, who humanity struck by committing sin; the pelican cutting open its own breast represents Christ's death on the cross, and the shedding of his blood to revive us. The Aberdeen Bestiary adds that the hunger of the pelican signifies that "...the life of a hermit is modelled on the pelican, in that he lives on bread but does not seek to fill his stomach; he does not live to eat but eats to live."


Sources (chronological order)



Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 10, 66): Pelicans have a second stomach in their throats, in which the insatiable creatures place food, increasing their capacity; later they take the food from that stomach and pass it to the true stomach.

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 7:26): The pelican is an Egyption bird that lives in the solitude of the river Nile. Its is said [Isidore expresses some doubt here] that she kills her offspring and grieves for them for three days, then wounds herself and sheds her blood to revive her sons. (Book 12, 7:32): It has a Greek name (onocrotalos) from its long beak; there are two kinds, aquatic and solitary.

Guillaume le Clerc [13th century CE] (Bestiaire): The pelican is a wonderful bird which dwells in the region about the river Nile. The written history tells us that there are two kinds, those which dwell in the river and eat nothing but fish, and those which dwell in the desert and eat only insects and worms. There is a wonderful thing about the pelican, for never did mother-sheep love her lamb as the pelican loves its young. When the young are born, the parent bird devotes all his care and thought to nourishing them. But the young birds are ungrateful, and when they have grown strong and self-reliant they peck at their fathers face, and he, enraged at their wickedness, kills them all. On the third day the father comes to them, deeply moved with pity and sorrow. With his beak he pierces his own side, until the blood flows forth. With the blood he brings back life into the body of his young. (Bestiaries and Lapidaries (London, 1896) Kuhns translation)

Bartholomaeus Anglicus [13th century CE] (De proprietatibus rerum, book 12): A pelican is a bird of Egypt, and dwelleth in deserts beside the river Nile. All that the pelican eateth, he plungeth in water with his foot, and when he hath so plunged it in water, he putteth it into his mouth with his own foot, as it were with an hand. Only the pelican and the popinjay [parrot] among fowls use the foot instead of an hand. The pelican loveth too much her children. For when the children be haught, and begin to wax hoar, they smite the father and the mother in the face, wherefore the mother smiteth them again and slayeth them. And the third day, the mother smiteth herself in her side, that the blood runneth out, and sheddeth that hot blood on the bodies of her children. And by virtue of that blood, the birds that were before dead quicken again. Master Jacobus de Vitriaco in his book of the wonders of the Eastern parts telleth another cause of the death of pelicans' birds. He saith that the serpent hateth kindly this bird. Wherefore when the mother passeth out of the nest to get meat, the serpent climbeth on the tree, and stingeth and infecteth the birds. And when the mother cometh again, she maketh sorrow three days for her birds, as it is said. Then (he saith) she smiteth herself in the breast and springeth blood upon them, and reareth them from death to life, and then for great bleeding the mother waxeth feeble, and the birds are compelled to pass out of the nest to get themselves meat. And some of them for kind love feed the mother that is feeble, and some are unkind and care not for the mother, and the mother taketh good heed thereto, and when she cometh to her strength, she nourisheth and loveth those birds that fed her in her need, and putteth away her other birds, as unworthy and unkind, and suffereth them not to dwell nor live with her. (Mediaeval Lore from Bartholomew Anglicus (London, 1893/1905) Steele edition of 1905)


Illustration

The illustration of the pelican is highly standardized, and is found in a large variety of settings, including many kinds of manuscripts, sculptures, and church carvings such as misericords. The arrangement of the mother pelican and her young has come to be called "the pelican in her piety"; it consists of the mother standing over her dead (or reviving) chicks, her head bent down in a graceful curve to cut open her breast and drip blood on her young. In some illustrations the mother feeds her blood to the chicks, or the chicks reach up to catch the falling drops of blood. A few manuscripts (such as British Library, Harley MS 4751, f. 46r) show the entire story of the mother killing the chicks and then reviving them.
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby JasonPratt » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:26 am

I bet I first heard the fire-chicken story from NT Wright, too. ;)

I WANT TO SEE THE PELICAN THAT ATTACKS AND EATS POISONOUS CROCODILES!! :shock: :shock: :shock: :lol:
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Caleb Fogg » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:57 am

JasonPratt wrote:I WANT TO SEE THE PELICAN THAT ATTACKS AND EATS POISONOUS CROCODILES!! :shock: :shock: :shock: :lol:


Ask and you shall recieve:
pelican_glare.jpg
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crocx4.jpg
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pelican bear cub.jpg
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby DaveB » Sun Aug 24, 2014 3:28 pm

I'm thinking that's a real crock :lol:

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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:33 pm

What fun :-D And now here comes the party pooper post :-D

Hi All 

I was thinking about the original thread here –which was started perhaps three years ago? – as a way of rounding this one off. It was started by Rev Drew - and I wonder if someone could tag my dear friend Drew and Luke (who I’ve never actually dialogued with) into this thread; I don’t know how to tag people here. The OP for this thread is a brief summary of my settled views about Universalism and the C of E and the cancelation of the 42nd Article (and it really is an easy read). There is a lot more that I can say – but I’m not giving everything away because I hope to write a book about this – or at least a series of essay – and if I don’t get these published I think I’ll still copywrite them before posting online (or something like that - whatever it is you have to do to retain a little bit of ownership).

But I do remember that on the original thread – in the brainstorming stages – that a couple of good suggestions were made by both Drew and Luke – ones that I wasn’t quite sure what to say about then; but in the light of plenty of research I’ve found them to be good pointers but pointers that need to now be discarded (well that's my view and you are free to disagree and to dialogue about my view :-).

Notes for Rev. Drew (@revdrew61)

Hi Drew :-) – I remember that you speculated that Matthew Parker via Martin Bucer may have been behind the abrogation of the 42nd article along with Elizabeth. So here is my take on this now (I’ve dealt with Liz in the OP) -
Regarding Matthew Parker; well he was a moderate man and an irenic one certainly – which was why Elizabeth chose him as her first Archbishop of Canterbury – a post that he really did not want to take. But there is nothing in his private correspondence to suggest that he was a universalist and, as I’ve said above, in his initial proposals of amendments to Cranmer’s Articles from the Edwardian Second prayer book the 24nd article still remains – it has not been crossed out. So there’s a mystery for us. It seems very unlikely that a consensus of bishops and clergy at the Convocation decided to back a measure to cancel the 42nd article – since some of these were strict Calvinists returned hot from Geneva where they’d sought refuge from the persecutions of Bloody Mary (they were not as powerful a block as they later became in Elizabeth’s reign (but they still had weight).

Regarding Martin Bucer -he was a moderate among the Continental Reformers (like Philip Melanchthon and other names less well know) and he had some of the hallmarks of a Christina Humanist ( and Erasmus never disliked’ him). Also Bucer was involved in attempts to build new bridges between Catholics and Protestants at a time when the old bridges were well and truly ablaze. He was also a colleague and friend of Matthew Parker’s when he at the University of Oxford for a time - but the poor man died completely worn out after only a few years of safety). He wasn’t around at/ alive for the Elizabethan Settlement the Convocation – but was his spiritual presence ( as it were ) behind the cancelation of the 42nd Article)? I think almost certainly not and here are my reasons:

Yes, Bucer was moderate Reformer but ‘moderate Reformer ‘does not necessarily mean he was universalist – and he showed no sympathy for the Origenist traditions of his day in his writings.

In addition, he had Hans Denck the Anabaptist spiritual – who was certainly influenced by Erasmus – banished from Strasbourg for suspected universalism and suspected Unitarianism. The two charges went together but the charge of universalism was as serious as the one of Unitarianism. In the end Bucer himself was banished from Strasbourg and fled to England (I have also read that the young John Calvin was arraigned before Bucer on a charge of Unitarianism – but Bucer let him leave unmolested which compares very favourably with Calvin’s treatment of Servetus arraigned later in Geneva on the same charge when Calvin had come into his time of influence (but I only have one secondary source for this information currently– and anyway it’s not important to the current story).

Bucer and his refugee colleagues at Oxford who were invited to England by Cranmer – Peter Martyr (the Italian Reformer) and Jan Laski ( the Polish Reformer)– advised England’s chief Archbishop about the shortcoming of his First Prayer Book – which Elizabeth secretly favoured – that did not include the 42nd article and did include prayers for the dead and a high Lutheran doctrine of the Eucharist. The high doctrine of the Eucharist disappeared from the Second Prayer book along with prayers for the dead because of the advice given by Bucer and his companions. Indeed the 42nd article – based partly on a similar article in the Continental Protestant Augsburg confession – may have been formulated with the collaboration of Bucer (an hypothesis I’d like to run past another scholar in the field)

Notes for Luke

Hi Luke :-) I remember you arguing or a t least strongly implying that Cranmer’s Anglicanism was a very Calvinist Anglicanism and that Cranmer’s teachings about hell in a couple of his Homilies show that Universalism and Anglicanism don’t mix.

Calvin did vie for influence in England when the boy king Edward was on the throne – dedicating some of his biblical commentaries to Edward and writing to Cranmer advising him to hunt down and kill Anabaptists without mercy for example – but Cranmer was canny about Calvin and kept him at arms length. The Reformers he asked to help him were moderates. We can see this in the seventeenth article on predestination which they advised on – retained with only a few modifications by Parker. This affirms predestination to life but says nothing about predestination to damnation. Towards the and of Elizabeth’s; reign when the Calvinists were growing strong in power in England a group of Calvinist hotheads did formulate six articles which they hoped to have imposed on the Church of England one of which affirmed double predestination. Elizabeth’s Archbishop at this time – John Whitgift was a moderate Calvinist and probably agreed with the hotheads in principle. However he also abided by the idea of comprehensiveness within the Church and was loyal to Elizabeth. So he quickly dealt with the hotheads– and the appointment of Whitgift, a loyal Calvinist, to deal with the disloyal Calvinist when they were growing in power is another example of Elizabeth’s political acumen. Certainly she was very fond of Whitgift and called him ‘ my little black husband’ affectionately.

I also remember you citing passages from the Book of Homilies concerning teaching about hell in defence of his argument that universalism is not consonant with Anglicanism – either today or in the past. The Homilies were standard sermons written by Cranmer and later added to mainly by Bishop John Jewell for the clergy to preach in Churches. Well the article in the Thirty Nine Articles about these specifically refers to the relevance of these sermons to ‘these times’ and not to all times. Also an Elizabethan Origenist could easily accommodate these as referring to age long purifying fire in the light of their knowledge of New Testament Greek

Any questions gratefully received :-)


In Christ our Hen


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Last edited by JasonPratt on Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added a tag to signal RevDrew per Sobor's request
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby JasonPratt » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:54 am

I'm not sure Luke is still around or even wants to correspond here anymore; I think he left the CoE, too, for... well a more purely Calv denomination, not sure which. I'll tag @Alex Smith and see if he knows; Luke was his friend.

I'll upgrade your post to tag RevDrew, though. Basically all you do is type someone's forum name (but it has to be exactly correct, so revdrew61 in Drew's case); then select their name (easy to do with revdrew61, but for someone like Alex whose forum name is two 'words' be sure to drag-select); and click the Tag button at the far right immediately above the composition window where you're typing or editing your post. (Font colour is to the left, then font size usually Normal, then URL etc.)

That will drop the proper Tag code around the selected forum name; or you can manually type it yourself if you like.

It'll look like this, using {Tag}Alex Smith{/Tag} for an example, except with square brackets instead of fancy ones.
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:42 am

Thanks Jason :-)

You are a pal. I just wanted to have a chat with Luke and Drew if possible because I was researching the issue anyway following up my interest in Erasmus - and that's how I saw the original thread in a search. And once I joined it was so wonderful to have people interested in what I was turning up - even if i was going all around the houses - as you have to at first - and I used to so much look forward to Drew's encouraging replies and was inspired because the issue was not just of historical relevance to him. Oh and knowing that dear Allan was enjoying it and young Matt popped in to say he was enjoying it too, and Corpselight was becoming passionately interested in the thread - and arranged to see me for a drink because of it; and I became the friend of a heavy rock guitarist and snake fancier via Erasmus, Liz the Virgin Queen, and the Family of Love;-D.
Oh and then there was Paul Corinthians who wanted to make a PDF document of it and distribute it - but it wasn't anywhere near cooked enough for that. And when you gave me the thumbs up first - Jason the Administrator - I was in seventh heaven; seriously, I was :-)

But I did read the discussion on the thread before I turned up closely, and what was said did take me on interesting journey’s of investigation. I think what I've said on this thread is as sober as I can get - and it is a careful attempt to summarise the relevant things I've found out from the leads that were given (and to show I didn't; just ignore the earlier discussion and dismiss it - I would never do that; not at all because it was passionate and people were grappling with real issues - both historical and current :-))

I think that Erasmus and Elizabeth are ‘sexy’ enough to give an interesting narrative for a book about this story – and the issues of religious tolerance broached are also hot ones today. But perhaps some more focussed essays are what might actually happen (at least for starters). But if I ever do get a book published on this I will of course make a proper acknowledgement of the inspiration and support from the people of this site, and if, say, Rev Drew wants to write an introduction to it saying about that original thread and placing the subject in the perspective of what it means to him as a representative non sectarian Christian universalist and an Anglican today I’d be delighted for that too. But that’ all in the future and is only possible – not yet probable.

But I will run with this one – even if I have to get it vanity published one day :_D (very likely :-D). And I’m happy to do some more stuff talking round the topic here in the future without disclosing shed loads of precise details

At the moment I’m still hoping that I can finally have a chat with Rev. Professor Screech the Erasmus scholar – and hope this happens before Christmas 

Dick 
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:55 am

And of course I will have to mention 'Yentil' too who actually facilitated the coming together of my thoughts above beautifully :-); and Caleb and Dave and CHris etc here now. And if it seems worth the craik it would be good to have a another rite introduction by an American universalist giving a different perspective from an English Anglican one about what the story means to them today. Hmmmmm - now who am I thinking of here? Well someone who has been more than kind to me about this project has been our very own Mr Jason Pratt. Yes I think he could find 1000 word without too much trouble. Oh an I'll have to give Cindy a thank you - when I was wiring this stuff we used to have very pleasant bonding chats over at her Intro thread - which were a welcome break for me - and the reason I've always loved Cindy (one of them) is that at some stage she told me that my stuff was too long and that it didn't particularly interest her anyway :-D Well I don't think any attention I was getting was going too much to my head - but inasmuch that we are all human and prone to get above ourselves - that sure put me in my place (Cindy is very intelligent and I respect her opinion - so I felt 'ouch') :-D

This is no masterpiece I am writing and I'm too old to care about fame or fortune anyway - so you don't have to wake me up from such fantasies. I have enough to live on, the thought of unwarranted public attention gives me the creep. The audience for this story will be limited anyway, and I'm not a great historian or a great writer. But this has been a lot of research - and many of you here have been my colleagues in it without realising it. Thank you. I hope whatever I write/am writing helps some Christian universalist with a sense of confident identity in the realisation that Universalism is not a new things and the problems faced by universalists are not new things - so we can be of good courage in good company. I'm seeing my sister tomorrow and I'll let her know that if for some reason I shuffle off my mortal coil before finishing this - and it's not the only project that I have to complete - that she must send my copy to you to put on site here. But I don't; intend shuffling off my mortal coil any time soon - but you never know and we must have good courage about this and be seem doing our duty :lol:
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:50 pm

OK @Jason Pratt- I've looked at those who have shown an interest here, in no particular order (including Cindy who was actually quite right about the length of my posts and I started doing shorter ones because of her - at least most of the time, and she showed a lot of interest in me as an Anglican today which is the other side of this one :-D). So I'll tag those that I can think of at the moment - and then go away and think of others (well I think Andrew All Brothers, Sass, Pog, Alistair, Steve, Catherine and Jeremy have also asked questions - again in no particular order - about this story other threads and other sites so I'll do then after I've done this lot)

@corpselight @revdrew61 @DaveB @ChrisB @Kate @Caleb Fogg @Matt Wiley @AllanS @1Cor1522 @TGB @Sherman @Cindy Skillman
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:00 pm

This thread may also be of interest to -

@WE ARE ALL BROTHERS @TRMII @Alex Smith @AlSmith
@Catherine @amy @alecforbes @redhotmagma @Ravi Holy @pog @Sass
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby DaveB » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:07 pm

Present! And interested!! :D
(As long as a Trin, but non-ortho, is still within the Pale of orthodoxy and can break cyber-bread with ya'll. :lol:
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:18 pm

Of course so Dave :D - 'We would not make windows into men's souls' :lol: (because it is difficult enough having windows into our won souls - only God knows the heart)

Oh yes there is a gal with a rather spiky user name who in real life has one of the loveliest and cuddliest old fashioned name's I've ever heard - that's both parts of it. And she's lovely too. And she is marrying a lovely and rather cuddly Anglican very soon I believe. So I call upon @JaelSister
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby JasonPratt » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:09 pm

You get that material compiled and the book written, and I will gladly contribute an intro for it!

Though Robin Parry, as editor at Wipf and Stock (who would seem a good publisher opportunity), might serve better. :)
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Alex Smith » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:35 pm

I've let Luke know :)
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:16 pm

Thanks lads :D

Well @Jason Pratt – it’s nice of you to suggest Robin as the Intro writer. I don’t know whether any of my rude and slightly unfair comments about him in early summer ever reached him – probably not. Well I hope not. Och I’ve always been good at offending anyone in positions of influence – all of my life; so knowing my luck. I’m not holding my breath ...:-D But the comments were unfair and just a bit of old fashioned hectoring. I’m an old school Universalist – it’s not a problem with the people I mix with - and I don’t have to be diplomatic at all. Robin as an evangelical universalist reminds me quite a lot of Erasmus in his being All things to All men (and actually I have very much enjoyed Robin’s books and his blogs too :-D).
OK this is in its early stages of writing – I’ve got to do some schmoozing with academics between now and Christmas and check and double check my sources and take a close look at some of Origen’s commentaries, Erasmus’s Paraphrases and his Annotations. After I’ve done this – if all goes well – I reckon the book should take me say six months to write (because the research will be complete).

I want the book to include something of substance about the early fourteen century flowering of universalism and ‘wide hoperism’ in England and how this was passed on.

Plenty of stuff about Erasmus and Elizabeth and the Elizabethan Settlement etc as outlined above (that will be the main portion of the book)
And then to finish off something of substance about the alter history of universalism in England and America – not in the same detail as the main body but something of substance.

I want this manuscript – even if it just remains a manuscript - to be accessible and useful, and I rather like the idea of being guided by Yentil questions from a Kate person who is very curious about Anglicanism and the history of universalism. I don’t know what anyone else would think of that but I feel very comfortable with it, and it lightens the subject up too.

And then perhaps at the end I could have some reflections on how the story chimes with universalists today (and any background about how the book grew out discussion at EU)

Drew on an English view?
Jason – on an American view?
Alex on an Australian view?

And as well as scholarly apparatus – well I think I must have about 100 books for the bibliography at least – it might be an idea to have some appendices –

14 instances of Universalists citing the abrogation of the 42nd article as their charter from George Rust onwards (not all Anglican btw)
A time line?
Key terms?
Key people?

It could work nicely – and I really don’t; want to write a stodgy academic book that is going to be of no interest and no use to anyone. I’m not in the academic career path anyway.

Ooh yes and another person I’d have to thank would be @Dr Mike – because I’ve had to know about the whole scope of universalist history to get the confidence to finally think of writing this book. Much as I didn’t feel like revisiting the Bohemenists and the Florentine Neo-Platonists in the dark months of this year – Dr Mike focussed my attention. And although these schools are only tangential to my story – it’s great to have really got to know about them. I hope Dr Mike wishes me well with my project – whatever happens to it – as I wish him well with his. I grew very fond of him 

Oh and @pog too – working with him on that list was vital to enable me to see the big picture.
So wish me well. Have a think. And my first step now is to have a chat with Prof Bob my old boss in the first part of September.
Any advice on a snappy title gratefully received– The Abrogation of the 42nd Article sounds a bit flatulent to me :-D
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby ChrisB » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:27 pm

Thanks Dick, How about "The Edges of Truth"? This popped into my mind as it reflects your search around a topic which probably was not central to the historical hot pot of the Reformation period but was persistently there. Like (and not wishing to sound irreverent) the Holy Spirit in the form of a little boy on the edge of the pack trying to get the big kids attention in a rowdy game in the school playground. :roll: encouragement for the project! Chris
Ps yes it would need a descriptive subtitle too. I checked for other books of this title on net but found similar but not the same.
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Cindy Skillman » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:48 am

Hi, Dick

I'm not ignoring you -- It's just that I didn't have much to input on this topic. I can't help myself though; I've never been able to make myself read history, so it's not just you at all. And the silly thing is, I enjoy knowing the bits I do know. Makes me feel all superior and everything. :lol: Bottom line: I would like to just KNOW. Could you maybe do an info upload to the collective consciousness or something? ;) If I could figure out how to link up to said consciousness then, I'd be delighted to bypass the actual work of acquiring knowledge. ;) Maybe at some future time (or not time) that will happen. Still, I hope you know I always love you, dear brother. And I do much admire and appreciate your vast understanding of this topic. It always amazes me, and it's nice to know that you're there with a safety net to correct me if I say something dumb regarding historical (or many other) things.

Love & Blessings, Cindy
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:25 pm

Dear @Cindy Skillman

My dear friend – oh no you are not remotely dumb; you are a very smart cookie indeed (and I mean that with all my heart) The posts above which mention you are actually not remotely ironic. They are a genuine tribute to you. Inasmuch as I’ve put things together reasonably well here you also played a big part by being a good mate who kept me down to earth (especially when people started to give me the very dignified title ‘Prof’ which in no way belongs to me :-D) and a delightful interlocutor at you (Into thread you joined shortly before I did I remember and all the chaps were dying to have a word with you :-D).

I have to say that the biggest joke is that I didn’t; even do a history degree – not at all. I did a degree in English Literature with practical drama and a minor option in History of Ideas (and an even tinier option in History of Art). But when I was a young boy I loved History to bits. I was so horrible that I could recite all of the Kings of England from Egbert the Bretwalda (High King) up to her present, dread and gracious majesty :-D Can you just imagine me being wheeled out occasionally at family parties with my first party trick ‘ Egbert, Ethelwulf, Ethelbert, Hel Bald, Alfred, Edward the Elder, Athelstan....’?!!!!! what a ghastly little monster :-D And then one day I met a child who could go back even further than Egbert the High King and knew all of the kings of Wessex (where Egbert ruled as an ordinary King) back to a Saxon chieftain called Scaef’, and all of the Presidents of the USA in order – the bustard :-D And that was an early trauma for me :-D I’d quite forgotten that I loved history but had to teach it when at a university as part of an introductory course – and it was only by teaching this course that i learnt the proper skills of a historian in using sources, applying theory etc.. And I’d almost forgotten about all of this again until I dropped in here at EU.

Och well – I can’t give you a brain transfusion with the historical knowledge that I have :-D although if I could I would. But I will try to think of you and people like you when i write this stuff up properly. Historians have to try and get the right balance between narrative (sort telling) description and analysis in their work. There will have to be plenty of analysis in my little screed, but I’ll try not to neglect story.

As an amateur historian I have had you in mind and my other more conservative Christian universalist friends in mind very much this year at one point – not because I wanted you to read what I was writing (it reads like thick treacle anyway :-D) but because I was writing it with your well being in mind. When Dr Mike did his lecture that was posted on YouTube by Prince town - fired up by whoever and whatever and having honestly , I now believe. reached false conclusions through too narrow research, the bit that worried me about his lecture most was that he was suggesting that all Christian Universalists draw their inspiration from a tradition based in -

Gnostic occultism and ritual magic
Duplicitous and violent social anarchism
Narcissism and self obsession

And the lecture was most defamatory when dealing with the early modern period up until the twentieth century. And the lecture was out there like a virus on the internet and the people I believed were most vulnerable of being disfellowshipped via a persecution myth were my dear conservative American Universalist friends. I wasn’t at all vulnerable on this score but others here might have been. So call me a ‘brick’ for wading through all of those tomes on Occultism, Hegel, and Florentine Magic etc. Man they were so boring – this stuff is so nerdish:-D
Love

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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Cindy Skillman » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:07 pm

Well, dear Dick, you ARE a brick for that! ;) (and it is very nice to have you back.)
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:21 pm

Nice of you to have me back old fruit!!!! :lol: But I will stick to my original remit now - the history threads and that's it; that's where I can help here and I only every want to help here - I was staying to Jason that it is so important to me to be loyal to the people that I'm drawn close to in any way in life. :)
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:17 pm

Hi @Caleb Fogg

How remiss of me – I didn’t answer your questions on films about Elizabeth

On this side of the pond the Tudors are very sexy :-D indeed at the moment.

Yes I saw the two films about Elizabeth with Kate Blanchet – I don’t remember much nudity in either beyond what was required to make a modest point. I saw it some time back but perhaps you see a little bit of Kate Blanchet’s nude body when she’s in bed with Robert Dudley – I think. But there’s nothing super raunchy about it at all – and it certainly was not pornographic to my eyes; just an incidental part of the drama rather than titillation as such. I mean there are more graphic displays of cruelty in the film but even these are not excessive as far as I remember. I cannot remember hanging drawing and quartering being displayed graphically in the film for example – as became popular in to her historical drams for a bit and unnecessary and very revolting too. But it show you that some things have got better in that watching such cruelty was seen as a valid family outing for Christina folk at these times (although Elizabeth was revolted by it apparently)

It is difficult to do a film about the Middle Ages or the early modern period and be honest - and at the same time abide by Puritan expectations; because people in those days had very little privacy. Houses didn’t have inside doors – and people saw each other going to the toilet, washing, having sex, dying etc – without any concept of full privacy very often. For this reason you’ll find good Christian authors of the times having a far earthy and more accepting attitude towards the boy and bodily functions than we have today. Erasmus can be earthy and is always witty – but fastidious too. But Luther can be just plain filthy and violently, alarmingly obscene (one of the differences between the two). And I seem to remember that perhaps even the lovemaking scene in the first Elizabeth film is one in which servants are walking about and Elizabeth is most anxious about this.

Of course Elizabeth claimed she was a Virgin – this had symbolic clout; she was married to her people – the Virgin Queen and cautious about making a marriage of alliance that went sour (as her sister Mary had cone fatally). Whether or not she was a virgin is something we will probably never know – the film simply makes a conjecture there as if it is true. Certainly there is evidence that she may have been seduced by Catherine Parr’s second husband when she was a teenager – this was a charge put before her when Mary’s ministers tried to trap her and have her beheaded like her mother had been (but again it’s hard to say if this was true and even if it was true it sounds like she was very much manipulated). She was a young woman in her early twenties at this time when she was imprisoned in the Tower of London briefly – and she faced down her accusers magnificently.

As for her relationships with her adoring courtiers like Robert Dudley– well that was part of the conventions of time and was not necessarily anything sexual – so the modest sex scene in the film is all conjecture – although Elizabeth certainly knew how to use her sex appeal to get her own way in a man’s world (a bit like Margaret Thatcher did as first female Prime Minister of the UK– in some ways she was a notorious flirt with the boys in her government and even with Ronald Reagan only to put them in their place and make them feel like little boys when she felt like it – which they loved apparently; well some of them got tired of it – the ones that got rid of her)

A lot of the first film is very oversimplified and sometimes anachronistic – but hey it’s entertainment and it tells a good story (and gives you the gist of the real story ) :and it is full of the young Elizabeth’s courage and steel. And it is easy to fall in love with young Elizabeth with her red hair flowing free. She later became the mannequin doll Gloriana her face caked in white lead and rouge with a wig no her head (and black teeth too) . This person is less instantly attractive but still fills me with infinite sympathy.

The second film is about Elizabeth with Kate Blanchett now as Gloriana ( but without the period detail of black teeth) is less enjoyable – I think I fell asleep a couple of times. Sure it contains the high drama of the defeat of the Spanish Armada and her rousing speech to the troops at Tilbury Docks – I have the body of a weak and feeble woman but I have the heart of a King – yes and a king of England! ).

It also majors on another so called love interest of hers in her late middle age - the young Earl of Essex. She’d nursed him and coddled him as a baby as part of the Royal household and doted over him like a mother and spoilt him rotten. And when he grew to young manhood he was her so called suitor doing all the courtly love stuff on public occasions as if she were a young and fair Queen – but she didn’t; take this masque seriously. He thought that he had Elizabeth’s; special favour and lead some crazy hot headed rebellion with a group of dashing young firebrands which he thought was on her behalf because she was begin ill advised; but it was actually an act of treachery. Elizabeth could not prevent him being condemned to death and beheaded – she was not an absolute monarch – she had to govern with consent of her ministers and her Parliament. If broke her heart and tormented her last years and in the end death came to her as a relief to her I think. John Whitgift – her little black husband was at her side in her last hours and was kind to her. The Kate Blanchet epic film was not good at capturing these very intimate and personal dramas I think. Her early life deserved epic treatment as did the Armada victory - but not her last years

If you’d like to read a popular history book about young Elizabeth (when she’s most relevant to our story) – David Starkey’s book Elizabeth’ – that was a number one bestseller - is excellent. And the picture he presents of Elizabeth resonates with the one I am uncovering (although he doesn’t look at universalism as such). I was delighted to have read his book properly only after Id done my research here.
Last edited by Sobornost on Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby DaveB » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:46 pm

Brick? Old fruit? Who are you people? :lol:

_ fusty ol' bugger-lugs, that's me..
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:25 pm

You be 'bugger lugs' - I'll be a brick and I'll call Cindy an 'old fruit'. I'm English - it's what we do :lol:
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Caleb Fogg » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:31 pm

Sobornost wrote: But when I was a young boy I loved History to bits. I was so horrible that I could recite all of the Kings of England from Egbert the Bretwalda (High King) up to her present, dread and gracious majesty :-D Can you just imagine me being wheeled out occasionally at family parties with my first party trick ‘ Egbert, Ethelwulf, Ethelbert, Hel Bald, Alfred, Edward the Elder, Athelstan....’?!!!!! what a ghastly little monster :-D And then one day I met a child who could go back even further than Egbert the High King and knew all of the kings of Wessex (where Egbert ruled as an ordinary King) back to a Saxon chieftain called Scaef’, and all of the Presidents of the USA in order – the bustard :-D


This is hilarious!!! :lol:
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Caleb Fogg » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:35 pm

Sobornost wrote:Hi @Caleb Fogg

How remiss of me – I didn’t answer your questions on films about Elizabeth


Thanks so much for your thoughts on the films. Very helpful. And thanks for the book recommendation as well.

and it certainly was pornographic to my eyes


Did you mean, "NOT"?
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:53 pm

Yes I meant 'not' :-D - I have only the vaguest memory of the erotic scenes - so I was not offended (and I do get upset by gratuitous in your face sex scenes). I remember when I was young if there was any nudity on the telly in my friend John's house his Mum used to get up and stand in front of the TV until it was over. So there's always that option open :lol:
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Re: Brief history of universlaism in the C of E

Postby Sobornost » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:46 pm

I’ll give you some examples of the earthiness of those times. Sir Thomas Moore 9now St Thomas Moore the Catholic martyr and close friend of Erasmus) had several daughters. He had them all educated as Christian Humanists – as Elizabeth was to be - and when the sociopathic King Henry came to visit they debate d with the King in Latin – and he was much impressed. Thomas Moore had the unusual idea – that he sets forth in this fantasy novella Utopia that if any man was going to marry a girl they should first see the girl in the nude. So when a suitor called about when of his daughters who was in bed in a room with her other sleeping sisters,. Sir Thomas took the young man upstairs, uncovered his highly educated and much cherished daughter (and they didn’t wear clothes in bed) and then patted her on the bottom so she turned over and the suitor could see her front. And the suitor was satisfied and the betrothal went ahead.

Luther’s scatology mentioned above? Well I’ve posted it in its full force elsewhere – but still feel loath to post the stuff here. It is very alarming indeed and had destructive consequences too.

Back to Henry VIII for my last example; the science of a balanced diet was not good in his days and influenced still by medieval bestiaries – see above. A lion – the bestiaries claimed – lived only on meat. A King should be as a Lion so Henry only ate meat – and this was very bad for him. So in later life he had huge problems with digestion and uncontrolled bowel movements etc – obviously so. He always had a sociopathic streak but in later life he also became paranoid and being a courtier was very dangerous. And there was one task that we might think should be given to a menial but was much coveted by courtiers and lords and knights of the realm. Namely wiping the king’s bottom – the role was called ‘The Groom of the King’s Stool. And it was coveted because in the privy while ministering to the King’s stern needs the fortunate official could also have the King’s ear – like a privy counsellor :-D -and ask favours for friends and family and spread rumours about enemies in the hope that the King would destroy them. Quaint old fashioned ways :-D
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