The Order of the Wounded Hands
Schooled in the East
Foreword by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Like a rope with three strands, this book aims to do three things.
Firstly, to study the theme and task of Christian Ordination and ministry, via the apostolic—and Anglican—Liturgy of ‘the laying on of hands’. It argues that all such occasions of ‘Take thou authority ...’ can only be fully realised as commission from ‘the wounded hands of Christ’. If, with the psalmist, clergy are saying of the ministry of deacons, priests and bishops in Word and Sacrament: ‘I will go to the altar of God,’ it can only mean their service to the world in the meaning of ‘God in Christ’, as, by analogy with Jerusalem’s Temple, the very ‘place of the divine Name’.
Secondly, it finds at the heart of the Gospel the abrogation by Jesus in ministry and Passion of the ‘law of retaliation’ so central to the ethos of Judaism and Islam. His doing so meant becoming ‘vulnerable’ but only to be also ‘vicarious’. Are not these two, anyway, elements of all human experience—but also the stuff of redemption? Not ‘being overcome of evil’ in enmity and anger He—and we—‘overcome evil with good.’
Thirdly, the book makes a personal retrospect of seventy years since diaconate (minus one, of priesthood) and episcopal Orders at mid-stream. This anniversary year darkly coincided with another renewal of that lex talionis between Israel and its Arab locale. It is in the midst of this self-perpetuating tragedy that a Christ-minded, christ-warranted ministry belongs. Its courage must come from realising that it was this same East where Christian ministry was historically schooled into identity.
Kenneth Cragg served as both scholar and bishop in the lands of the Middle East and also held academic posts in the UK, Lebanon, Nigeria and the USA.
He was the author of many studies in contemporary relations between the Semitic faiths. He was an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, and an Hon. D.D. (Lambeth) and of the Universities of Leeds and Toronto and former Bye-Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.
216 x 138mm, 186 pages, paperback£12.95
ISBN 978 1 901764 48 2 (13 digits)