Thursday, November 5, 2009

An Anglican Convert To The Catholic Church Found Himself In A Jesuit Ashram In India

Independence Day 1996, in Chennai (once Madras), South India. A hot day, like all July days there. The sweat runs between my shoulder blades as I pace the roof. I am 40.
I am spending the summer in a Jesuit-run ashram called Aikiya Alayam, on the edge of the city.
I am teaching now at the University of Chicago Divinity School and working on a book called Religious Reading: The Place of Reading in the Practice of Religion. I am in India to read and write, and for a breathing space.
The work is going well, and I can see the shape of the book before me. I am Anglican still: I am going to the nearest congregation of the Church of South India on Sundays and attending daily mass with the Jesuits during the week. After a week or so and some considerable conferring among themselves, they invite me to participate fully in their daily mass,
and I happily do so: I've not much notion of the doctrine and discipline of the Catholic Church on these matters and so am not fully sensible of the complexities of this position. I am, however, grateful for the hospitality shown me........
(later on in the article) my more than 12 years in the warmly embracing arms of the Catholic Church have given me the whole of the tradition, a vastly expanded range of authorities and teachers with whom to think, and a cloud of witnesses, living and dead.

Link (here)
to the full article, Turning points How my mind has changed, by Paul J. Griffiths in The Christian Century

Paul J. Griffiths, whose books include Christianity Through Non-Christian Eyes; Lying: An Augustinian Theology of Duplicity and Intellectual Appetite: A Theological Grammar, teaches at Duke Divinity School.

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