13.4.11

What could you possibly mean?



REVISINGREFORM is wondering if this might be rather an unusual project ahead, this essay on the Covenant. It might contain pdfs like this one in its appendix. 




“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you CAN make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—thatʼs all.”
(from Through the Looking Glass)




I am about to start my reading for the Covenant, about how it arises due to historical problems and might help to sort out contemporary ones - or not as the case may be.

The “tacit conventions” in the Communion needed spelling out, he [Rowan Williams] observed, “not for the sake of some central mechanism of control, but so that we have ways of being sure we’re still talking the same language”. (My italics). (The Anglican Covenant. A Church Times guide. (2011, March 18). The Church Times, pp. 19-30.)

Or if its not that - it's that the words of the Covenant document itself are hard to interpret: 'How can we - why should we - sign a document when we cannot tell what it means?' says The Revd Marilyn McCord Adams (Distinguished Research Professor) (The Anglican Covenant. A Church Times guide. (2011, March 18). The Church Times, pp. 19-30.)


I have a feeling it might all boil down to what we exactly mean by the authority of scripture but I might be wrong and it will prove interesting to find out. I have joined the 'NoCovenant facebook' group to keep abreast of the latest thoughts, is there a 'YesCovenant facebook' equivalent? I can not seem to find one.


Perhaps this essay will result in my actually determining an opinion for a change, rather than just having to write as academically as I can about everybody else's opinions. Well, I will give myself a sentence or two to express one, anyway.

Right, I am going in - just nine days to crack this one!

I have already found a very big problem with the Anglican Covenant.

Surely, footnotes go after the full stop.  :-)

4 comments:

Robert said...

The authority of scripture means nothing at all. It always boils down to an authoritative interpretation, or in other words the authority of the church which interprets it in that way.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

Footnote numbers go after a full stop if they concern one or more sentences, as at a paragraph end. Imagine using Harvard or APA and brackets. They go within a sentence or at the end of a paragraph.

My blog keeps a link to the APA blog at the bottom of the list.

My view on footnotes became: use a bibliography of course, but if any text is good enough for footnotes then include it in the text, but if it won't fit in the text then it need not be in the footnotes. In other words, at my PGCE on I stopped using any footnotes.

Rach said...

Thanks Adrian. I had a discussion about footnotes at college yesterday. Most of the time, I pick up a commentary like Moo's on Romans to check what he does. It would seem, as a general rule, they always go after the punctuation. My report on women's ministry was full of extra little things to say in the footnotes, that were asides, rather than contributions to the main argument, hoping I am not too badly penalised, for I am starting to think you are right. not sure I ever really used footnotes in my PGCE, which might be because I had less to say 15 years ago!

Rach said...

"the authority of the church which interprets it in that way."

Then that is our interpretation - we are the church - aware this is naive but this is the idea we hold - we are the church and have to communicate one with another, which I suppose brings us back to the problem in the first place.

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