We finally got around to reading The Imagined Community of the Anglican Communion over at The Other Cafe, thanks to Chip Webb, who couldn't believe the article didn't get more airplay. Perhaps it was because we all thought it was actually a brilliant parody on a slow news day. Oops.
But alas, it's serious, written by a serious historian in a serious library in a serious university in a serious state in the union. Or a serious state of something.
So get thee hence, but we suggest that you "right click" to open the article so that you may also click to play the kindly offering below to enforce the mood as one reads with great, well, seriousness, this quite serious article. No really.
In one fell swoop, whoooosh, the author reveals that the Lambeth Conference, the Primates, bishops, the Anglican Covenant, the Anglican Consultative Council, and yes, even the Archbishop of Canterbury (past and present) are all imagined. Only The Episcopal Church is real.
It's like the entire Anglican Communion has a serious case of Harvey.
Rowan Williams himself might possibly, yes may quite actually be - a myth. In fact, he might not even exist. If he does exist, then it's even worse for at any moment he's preparing to take up the mantle of the Ghosts of Canterburies Past and drop kick all the Methodists and what's left of John Henry Newman into oblivion. Yes, the author even quotes the Great Conservative Icon, shall we all bow, Edmund Burke in possibly one of the most outstanding examples of unconscious irony ever printed on a blog page. Here we find Burke, shall we all bow, himself being used to illustrate that at any moment, the Church of England is about to explode into purple gowned Nazis: “The pretexts are always found in some specious appearance of a real good.” That the author cannot see the log protruding out of his own eyeball (talk about calling the poor boiling kettle black) is really quite an astonishing thing to behold. And yes, dear friends, this guy is whittling away the hours in the Yale Library. Too bad the Scots took those early Episcopalians phone call and got us all signed up for the duration. We could have just imagined England was a dream.
Perhaps the Communion really is just a six foot rabbit after all.