I’ve continued to think about my reaction to Holy Women, Holy Men. My earlier post is here. It was initiated on Friday when I went on Episcopal Cafe and found no mention of the Martyrs of Japan and instead a quotation from a work on Anne Hutchinson. I think I’ve figured it out. I’ve not read it carefully. It’s not available in print and I haven’t been interested enough to go back to the materials presented at General Convention. So, my only exposure to it is through Episcopal Cafe.
Speaking to the Soul provides no historical context for Williams and Hutchinson, no discussion of what influenced them. There’s nothing that would help a non-expert make any sense of their relation to Anglicanism, why they are worth commemorating, and how their commemoration might enrich our current life as a communion.
To me, that reeks of arrogance–assuming that anyone who is of interest religiously or spiritually is inherently worth recognizing by Anglicans and worth coopting.
Granted, I come to this as someone from an outsider background whose academic specialty was religious outsiders. Still, I think it more hubris than humility to pay lipservice to the diversity within Christianity without acknowledging it, and without acknowledging the deep differences that persist between the Anglican tradition and others, like the Baptists, of whom Williams was one of the leading lights.