Anglican doctrine is often thought to be cast in a common mold with all western theology, but a newly published report will show that the insights of the rich cultural mix and the considerable inter-faith dialogue present in today's Anglican Communion have produced a unique contribution to modern religious life.
The first publication of the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission, entitled "For the Sake of the Kingdom: God's Church and the New Creation", will be launched at a media conference at Church House, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 18th . Participating in the conference will be the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary-General of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Rev. Canon Sam Van Culin, as well as Archbishop E.W. Scott.
The report "demonstrates the theological richness and diversity of the Anglican Church in trying to understand what the Kingdom of God means today in different cultural situations."
The Commission was conceived in 1976 at the third meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Trinidad and endorsed by the 1978 Lambeth Conference. It is made up of fifteen members of thirteen different Provinces of the world-wide Communion. There is one Canadian member, Dr. Helen Milton, former lecturer in theology at the University of Windsor. The Commission has met three times at two year intervals, under the Chairmanship of Archbishop Keith Rayner of Australia. Between meetings members contributed a wide range of papers and drew on resources of commissions in various parts of the Communion.
The report inaugurates a new pattern of publishing for official Anglican documents. It will be published jointly in local editions in several countries. In Canada the publisher is the Anglican Book Centre.
The report is described by the ACC as "not a supreme authority ... but a common theological framework within which local theological questions can be raised." It will be part of the background material for the 1988 Lambeth Conference and, "It is hoped that each diocese and province in the Communion will use it in relation to their own local concerns."
More detailed information about the Commission, and copies of the report will be available to the media at the Conference on March 18.