Since the early 1970s conservatives in the Episcopal Church have attempted to halt the increasing liberalization of the church, specifically opposing changes in liturgy, the ordination of women and the full inclusion of gays and lesbians. Having failed to make progress domestically, they activated an existing network of predominately evangelical conservatives in other parts of the Anglican Communion to oppose ‘homosexuality’.You can read the rest here ... and I hope you will.
This coalition was able to pass a strongly anti-gay resolution at the 1998 Lambeth Conference of bishops but then found it almost impossible to enforce the resolution in the North American provinces. The 2003 election of an openly gay man to be Bishop of New Hampshire led to open international conflict, and demands for changes to the loosely knit Communion in order to prevent further such incidents and to ‘discipline’ those responsible.
This thesis chronicles the progress of the conservative alliance and the rhetorical and symbolic constructs it developed in order to maintain a strong group identity despite its inherent diversity. It examines the way that the Anglican Communion is created through the discourse of its members and suggests that conservatives began to re-imagine the Communion. Its ability to reform the Communion according to its new imagining depends upon the ability to generate and use power through rhetoric and through symbolic acts of boundary crossing and civil disobedience against the North American churches. Throughout the development and maintenance of the conservative alliance, ‘homosexuality’ has been the rallying cry which has brought conservatives together and cemented their alliance.
This paper examines why the unstable construct ‘homosexuality’ has such salience both within the United States and in the global south that it can act as an identifier and as a motivator for intense dissent across significant difference. It looks for the answer at the convergence of patriarchal values and (post)colonial power differentials.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
HIGHLY Recommended Reading
The Reverend Dr. Caro Hall is a friend, colleague and one of my favorite people on the planet -- and I was absolutely delighted to find that her doctoral dissertation is "on the web." Entitled " Homosexuality as a Site of Anglican Identity and Dissent" it isnot only an important study, it's an "excellent read" ... and a great resource for anybody wanting to understand more about the history of LGBT inclusion in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. Here's the "executive summary" ...