Four minatory wordsDeath, Judgement, Heaven, Hellthe traditional 'four last things', will always herald Advent for your editors. But Advent is a season more awesome than fearsome, combining mystery, waiting, darkness, and stillness. Next week we shall greet its First Sunday, and to that end we draw your attention to our page of Advent resources. We'll be adding and updating it until Christmas, so let us know if you have additions.
Perhaps it is fitting that the Gutenberg Bible and 'Killing the Buddha', a new theological magazine, make their appearance online simultaneously.
The Gutenberg Bible captured for the first time words that had hitherto only existed in sound or beautifully laboured calligraphy. It made possible the idea that the Bible could be, eventually, an individual possession, to be touched, read, pondered, and believed. In private. Personally. Of course a dangerous concept then. (And perhaps still.) Now that achievement is rendered again, in zeroes and ones, on the Web.
For us it feels like some form of closure to have the document that started it all be available on the medium that may eventually be more significant than printing.
The concept behind 'Killing the Buddha' is perhaps an inherently dangerous one for a theological magazine, dedicated as it is to 'moving past the complacency of belief, for struggling honestly with the idea of God. As people who take faith seriously, we are endlessly amazed and enraged that religious discourse has become so bloodless, parochial and boring. Any God worth the name is none of these things'. Their manifesto is well worth a read. In their first issue, we draw your attention to the article 'God's Own Knowledge', on a new movement in Anglican theology called 'Radical Orthodoxy'.
Like a little light-hearted background music whilst you read? Download the MP3 of some Virginia Theological Seminary students singing 'I am the Very Model of Today's Episcopalian', a parody of the well-known Gilbert and Sullivan patter song. You'll find the link in New This Week, where it is our pleasure to welcome a variety of new parish sites and regional resources. And one of those is ours: We've gathered our scattered links to ecclesiastical vestments in one place, which we call, not unnaturally, our Vestments page.
As this is the last Sunday of the church year, it isn't surprising that there are no major new stories in the News Centre this week. Several ongoing stories get another chapter, such as foreign bishops in the USA, Synod and Common Worship in England, strife in Africa, and unusual proclamations from the Vatican.
See you next week, in the new year.
26 November 2000