(Telegraph) Atheism is cool, says Archbishop Rowan Williams

Dr Rowan Williams argued it has become difficult for the Church to convey its message because of the popularity of non-believers such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.

He said attempts to reverse the decline in worshippers had begun but that there will be “no quick fix”.

His remarks came despite new research, released by the Roman Catholic Church, suggesting that the Pope’s visit to Britain a year ago has brought a lasting rise in the level of spiritual and religious feeling in the country.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Atheism, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

7 comments on “(Telegraph) Atheism is cool, says Archbishop Rowan Williams

  1. NoVA Scout says:

    In the context of the remark, it is important to note that the Archbishop is using common slang somewhat sarcastically to denote that atheist pop-literature has become a fad of the moment and has a following in certain circles. I think there is some danger that the headline used in the article might imply that “cool” reflects the Archbishop’s own view of atheism. Normally, I would think this obvious enough not to require mention. However, there are folks on this site who will hit this use of the word like hungry trout striking a lure and impute it to the Archbishop personally. That’s another “cool” fad in certain circles.

  2. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #1 You are so grown-up NoVA Scout. But I suspect not much fun on a fishing expedition.

    Actually the Archbishop is quite good when engaging with the Dawk and other atheists.

  3. David Keller says:

    NoVA–The problem with Anglicanism in GB is the ABC is a political apointee. I fully understand his use of rhetoicla devices. But, there is a fix, albeit maybe not a quick fix. The Church of England needs to start being a, well, church. Pointy headed-ivy tower professors have may their place somewhere, but what the Church needs are apostles and evangelists, not professors and politicians.

  4. deaconjohn25 says:

    Nothing is more important to evangelization than polite, public enthusiasm. By that I mean simple, regular attendance at Masses and other religious services. Or turning out for special occasions like the pope’s visit. One need not be a door-to-door missionary such as Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons to send a message to society or help re-build Christian culture.

  5. NoVA Scout says:

    David – well, it’s a state church so the head of it will be a political appointee. I guess I agree with you that that’s suboptimal, but I don’t see how it could be any other way given the history and political structure of Great Britain.

    PM – you are, of course, quite right. I am a solitary fly fisherman and clumsy enough at it that it takes all my concentration. Whatever conviviality I can muster has to wait for evenings at the lodge. I am sure, however, that my limitations notwithstanding, I would very much benefit from your good company, whether fishing, praying, or having a pint. Sorry to have pre-emptively (and perhaps unnecessarily) rained on the parade here.

  6. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #5 NoVA Scout – Thank you – it would always be a pleasure to pray with you, and indeed to have a pint, although I fear fishing for our supper might be a long wait.

  7. David Keller says:

    #4–I think the notion that everybody who ought to be an EpiscoplaiiaAnglican already is or will figure it out on their own, doesn’t match up with Matthew 28 or the Book of Acts. I concur that Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses are not my model of evangelists, but the Episcopal/Anglican model has resulted in a relatively rich, aging and dying church. Somebody has to tell people about Jesus. Being polite is fine. Being wishy-washy isn’t.
    #5–I understand. I was pointing out the problem. There may be no solution.