Partnership for Publishing New Voices: Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion

We are excited to announce this important new initiative and congratulate Bishop Graham Kings, a co-founder of Fulcrum and our Theological Secretary, on his appointment to the post.

Elaine Storkey, President of Fulcrum, comments:

We are so delighted that Rt Revd Graham Kings has been appointed to this vital new post of Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion. It draws together so many of the rich talents God has blessed him with, and his wide experiences of ministry. It can only be a post arranged in heaven! Our prayers will be with Graham as the whole Church continues to be blessed by his energy, commitment and focus.

Partnership for Publishing New Voices: Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church Mission Society and Durham University have become partners in creating an innovative seven year post: Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion.

The purpose is to research, stimulate, connect and publish works of theology in the Anglican Communion, with particular focus on insights from Africa, Asia and Latin America, in their ecumenical contexts.

The Rt Revd Dr Graham Kings, currently Bishop of Sherborne, has been appointed and will take up this new post in July 2015. He will be based in London, visiting Durham University, as an Honorary Fellow, and will travel in the Communion. He will convene a series of seminars in Anglican Communion Studies for theologians, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America. A new web site, launched today, MissionTheologyAngCom.org, will publish the papers.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said, "I am delighted that this strong partnership has developed with CMS and Durham University. It is very gratifying that the concept of a Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion has attracted the necessary support to get to this stage where the post can be established. I know that the Anglican Communion has many gifted theologians and it is so important that their voice is heard more widely. I am glad that Bishop Graham’s experience and knowledge of the Communion is being made so generously available and I shall encourage the development of this project with a keen interest.”

The Revd Professor Joseph Galgalo, Vice-Chancellor of St Paul's University, Limuru, Kenya, said, "This partnership affords new and creative ways of initiating and managing theological discourses across the Communion; and equally provides opportunities for constructive engagements. Bishop Graham Kings, with his vast experience in cross-cultural mission, is well placed to build a wide network of theologians to stimulate fruitful theological conversations, and to inspire partnerships across communities of faith. I wish him well and all God’s blessings as he lays the foundation for this exciting responsibility.”

Canon Philip Mounstephen, Executive Leader of the Church Mission Society, said, "CMS has long been committed to enabling the theological insights and voices of the global south to be better heard around the world as together we explore, and learn more, of the mission of God. I’m thrilled with this new post in CMS.”

Professor Alec Ryrie, Head of the Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, said: “This partnership is exactly the kind of creative enterprise that we should be entering into, to make more of the fresh and important theological thinking taking place in areas which are sometimes remote to readily accessible scholarship. Our leading research and alumni networks can hopefully bring emphasis and credibility to this initiative. We are delighted to welcome Dr Kings as an Honorary Fellow in the Department.”

Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Interim Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion, said: "Bishop Graham is well known to the Anglican Communion Office, through his participation in the interfaith network of the Anglican Communion. I am excited that this new post, although not based in the ACO, will complement our work in mission and theological studies. My colleagues and I look forward to working in partnership with him."

The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, said, "I am very grateful for all that Bishop Graham has contributed to the Diocese of Salisbury as Bishop of Sherborne. This new post makes very good use of his experience, knowledge and skills. We give thanks for him and Alison and ask God’s blessing on all that lies ahead.”

The Rt Revd Dr Graham Kings said, “I am amazed at this creative post, and give thanks to God. I am also deeply grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury, CMS and Durham University and to the wide range of supporting donors. Henry Venn, the great 19th Century General Secretary of CMS, talked of ‘self-supporting, self-governing and self-extending churches’ throughout the world. For many years, more recently, there has been a ‘fourth self’: ‘self-theologising’. It is these voices which need to be heard more clearly throughout the Communion.”

Funds for this new post have largely come from a wide range of private donors, from various traditions in the world-wide Church of God, as well as from the Church Mission Society, which will be employing Dr Kings from 16 July 2015.

ENDS

CONTACT: Robert Shuler 07500 660455     [email protected]

Notes for editors

Prior to becoming Bishop of Sherborne in 2009, Dr Kings was Vicar of St Mary's Church, Islington, London, where he co-founded Fulcrum; Lecturer in Mission Studies in the Cambridge Theological Federation, Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity, and founding Director of the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide; Vice Principal of St Andrew's College, Kabare, Kenya (as a CMS Mission Partner); and curate at St Mark's Church, Kensal Rise, London. He studied at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Utrecht. He is a published poet, and has written for The Times and The Guardian, and books on theology of mission, Kenyan liturgies and theology and art.

He is married to Alison Kings, a psychotherapist, and they have three daughters, who live in London.

www.MissionTheologyAngCom.org and @MissioTheology are both launched today.

7 thoughts on “Partnership for Publishing New Voices: Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion

    • Many thanks, Bowman, for your very encouraging comment.

      Concerning theologians in Bavaria, Saint Boniface (from Crediton, Devon) pioneered the way. Saint Leoba, a relative of his, who may have been his niece, was a nun at Wimborne Minster, Dorset, in the 8th century. She was sent by Abbess Tetta, with about 19 other nuns, to help him in his missionary work.

      There are close links between Bavaria and Wimborne Minster to this day. When the Liturgical Commission of the Church of England visited Rome a few years ago, I mentioned this connection between Wimborne and Bavaria to Pope Benedict.

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/leoba

      Concerning publishing books of theology from Africa, Asia and Latin America, – as well as articles on http://www.MissionTheologyAngCom – watch this space…

  1. Why did it take so long for such a position to be created, and for it to be given to Graham Kings? Never mind– it’s great news for Anglicans everywhere.

    In the ’80s, I briefly met an intense Bavarian who was similarly drawing the best theologians of his divided communion into a single conversation. He did eventually succeed, by more or less medieval methods, but Joseph Ratzinger did not have Graham Kings’s expertise in online publishing, nor his missionary experience, nor his concern that the single conversation be a global one. The implicit ecclesiology behind this new position is among the best things about it. Perhaps we will read an essay about that here someday.

    Dave’s concern to help Anglican theologians in developing provinces is a very important one. Some will know Larry Hurtado’s comments on the difficulties that face his PhD students when they leave Edinburgh for homelands with few resources for theological research. A relatively small investment in the work of Anglican theologians beyond the north could yield dividends for a long time to come. If there is a way, Graham Kings will find it.

    May God bless his work.

    • Many theological resources are already available in a format for a standard laptop. The trouble is that these are at North American prices. You can find as many public domain works including spiritual classics as you could possibly read current books and journals needed to engage with the current conversation

      Dave

      • All true, Dave. And those North American prices can come down for anything that has an e-format– downloads in developing countries should be deeply discounted. (I’ve told Logos and Accordance that their discount plans for developing countries is a leading consideration in my choice between them and their competitors. Neither is a villain, so far as I have heard, but in my small way I want to strengthen the hands of those taking the long view.) Moreover, the credible possibility of a larger market share in developing countries could induce some publishers to sustain the extra expense of e-formatting in Calibre etc. A bit of William Temple– negotiating new incentives to do the right thing– may be possible.

        But there is a further concern– being published in the UK or US too often means not being published well in, say, Uganda. So even if a scholar is able to publish something that we can read, it does not follow that his or her own church can read it, let alone a house church in China. Theology cut off from its own context cannot be all that but should be. And not every worthwhile exchange of views needs to pass through London or New York. When I go into a Brazilian bookshop and see expensive Portuguese translations of our evangelical star authors, but nothing much at any price from Brazilian authors, I cannot smile.

        The Church in the C21’s global village– not least Anglicans and evangelicals– needs to be able to have a single conversation. Anglicans have some natural advantages in building the infrastructure for this. Finally, in Graham, we have someone who knows how to put them to work.

        • I was thinking of Larry Hurtado’s students who will be well served by the material on Logos or Accordance. i accept that these have already been discounted for the cost of paper and I suspect the price is largely in the hands of the author and publisher. The key to this market may be volume.An encyclopaedia set cost say £1,000 20 years ago. It was initially sold as software for say £100 or possibly more to libraries. Prices slowly fell to about £10 Now effectively killed by Wikipedia. In the meantime the increased volume supported the lower prices.

          The cost of e-formatting is not really a barrier judging from the volume of self publishing on Kindle.

          Translation is a problem. I note US publishers maintain a significant Spanish catalogue. I seems to take a theologian of some standing to translate leading Germans into English. In the end it is a matter of recognising the the potential market. I assume Graham is also interested is dialogues which do not involve the West e.g. Uganda to Singapore.

          Your Ugandan pastor would probably write in English to reach the widest Ugandan audience. If successful his book may well sell throughout Africa. It could be ordered from the UK but it would not be read here unless someone told us about it.

          Dave

  2. Many congratulations to Graham. I do not see exactly how this project works. Presumably you are commissioning work from theologians in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The article talks of these been published on a website. I suggest the process needs to work though to books to reach the widest audience and generate income for the theologians.

    Dave

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