New Archbishop of Canterbury Has Strong Negotiation Skills

The newest leader of 77 million Anglicans has an interesting background studying law and history and working as a sort of chief financial officer at a British oil company:

Bishop Welby’s experience in business and conflict resolution represents a marked departure from his predecessor’s background as a theologian and a poet.

This year, as a member of the upper House of Lords, to which Anglican bishops are routinely appointed, Bishop Welby joined a parliamentary panel scrutinizing the behavior of British banks. He is known as an opponent of corporate excess and has been critical of banks.

Speaking at a conference in Zurich, according to a financial Web site, he described banks as “exponents of anarchy” before the financial crisis in 2008 because they pursued “activity without purpose.”

via Justin Welby Appointed Archbishop of Canterbury – NYTimes.com.

The Anglican Church–known in the United States as the Episcopal Church–has an interesting set of “rules of procedure” or civil law called “canon law” but governance  is entirely independent under member churches.  Doctrine is debated and passed as resolutions at a Lambeth Conference, held each decade.

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2 thoughts on “New Archbishop of Canterbury Has Strong Negotiation Skills

  1. Leah Copeland says:

    This is an interesting article, especially as we read it from an LDS perspective. In many ways, the role of an archbishop is like a job, where certain qualifications are required and an extensive personal research on the candidate is required to assess their abilities and ideology. Nowhere is the article appeared “inspiration,” “revelation,” or even “God.” The new archbishop, Justin Welby, was chosen for his educative background and philosophy; “He has a special gift for both personal and ecclesial diplomacy.”

    It is easy and interesting to compare our religion to the Ecclesiastical church. Although our leaders rule by revelation and set commandments which apply to all, the archbishop is more of a political leader who distributes most power to independent churches. Our church who are able to steward and impose new doctrine, but there is an obvious focus on the will of God. Differently, in the Ecclesiastical Church, doctrine that is proposed is legislated and debated like our government. In an non-judgmental manner, I say that the Ecclesiastical church focuses power onto the people who dictate the needs of the people in relation to the time and political climate of the world. I wish Archbishop Welby success as he inherits a role requiring much labor in a hostile world that he can successfully lead his 80 million church members.

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/culture-lifestyle/world-religion/121110/new-archbishop-canterbury-justin-welby

  2. Matthew Merrill says:

    I think Leah Copeland makes a valid point about the conspicuous absence of God-related dialogue. As I was reading the reactions of Christians to the coming enthronement of Justin Welby, there were countless references to his personal gifts, experience, and willingness to cooperate rather than his devotion to God.

    From an American perspective we have come to expect separation of church and state. In England, however, there is a surprising overlap between the two. “There are currently 26 Lords Spiritual who sit in the House of Lords by virtue of their ecclesiastical role in the Church of England.” Imagine if members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were automatically given a seat in the Senate when called because of the ecclesiastical authority. I would assume that there would be at least a mild uproar stemming from certain parts of society. I will be very interested to see the perspective Bishop Welby’s brings to the current division in the Anglican church, especially about same-gender marriage and related issues.

    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/what.christians.are.saying.about.the.next.archbishop.of.canterbury/31015.htm

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