Saturday, 16 February 2008

The Telegraph: When Islam and the C of E unite

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, when he spoke to the Church of England Synod on Monday, borrowed a joke from Ronald Knox. He likened his recent experience (in being savaged by the media for his remarks on sharia) to a description by Knox of a discussion at a student society in the 1930s: "The prevailing attitude... was one of heavy disagreement with a number of things which the speaker had not said."

It is interesting that Dr Rowan Williams quoted Ronald Arbuthnott Knox (1888-1957), not just because he converted to Roman Catholicism in 1917, but because of an earlier satire of his, on church unity proposals. Knox mocked these in a prettily printed little book entitled (in parody of 17th-century controversial pamphlets): Reunion All Round Or, Jael's Hammer laid aside and the Milk of human Kindness beaten up into Butter and served in a lordly Dish. Being a plea for the Inclusion within the Church of England of all Mahometans, Jews, Buddhists, Brahmins, Papists, and Atheists. Read more
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