News - Navigating A Strange Landscape: Christianity Today Publishes Wayman Interview With Former Archbishop Of Canterbury

Navigating A Strange Landscape: Christianity Today Publishes Wayman Interview With Former Archbishop Of Canterbury

Adventurer Bear Grylls recalls learning early on to make teatime a priority no matter what, even if it meant stopping for tea “halfway up a rock face.” 

When GU Professor Ben Wayman and Rowan Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, conversed over tea about the changing landscape of theological education, they may as well have been scaling a rock face.

Williams likened Christian education to learning to inhabit an unfamiliar land—the new creation—by becoming a person “whose capacity for praise and wonder is filled out.” 

Theological education develops understanding of this new terrain by addressing real questions people ask . . . and doing so self-critically and honestly. For Williams, a sign that a Christian school does its job well, is when it cultivates an environment of “gentleness and generosity” and nourishes students in the steady rhythms and gracefulness of the Kingdom, rather than the frantic busyness of a fearful world. 

Rowan-WilliamsChristianity Today recently published Wayman’s interview with Williams that took place earlier this year. Their conversation touched on the changing face of theological education for pastors and parishioners, and how persons from all walks of modern life “do” theology as they try to make “Christian sense of their lives.” 

View the full interview here: Rowan Williams: Theological Education Is for Everyone

Imagining Effective University and Church Partnerships

The interview flowed from Wayman’s sabbatical work consulting with internationally renowned Christian leaders. The mostly face-to-face conversations explored how a Christian university might best partner with the church in the 21st century.

By anchoring his imagination in the best theological thinking today, Wayman hoped “to find a way to improvise for tomorrow by developing innovative theological curricula that serves the church.”

He interviewed theologians Justo González, Samuel Wells, and Emilie Townes, and also consulted with Josué Fajardo, area director for Free Methodist work in Europe, and Free Methodist Bishops Linda Adams, Keith Cowart, and Matt Whitehead.

More to Come

Wayman anticipates publication of two additional articles. The Christian Century will feature his synthesis of the four major theologians and a proposal for theological education moving forward; an article for Apuntes will dive deep into his consultation with Justo González. 

Ben Wayman, professor of theology at Greenville University, also fills the Andrews Chair in Christian Unity at GU. He is the author of Make the Words Your Own: An Early Christian Guide to the Psalms (Paraclete Press, 2014), Ordaining Women: New Edition with an Introduction and Notes (Wipf & Stock, 2015) also in a Spanish edition La ordenación de la mujer (Light+Life, 2018), and Diodore the Theologian (Brepols, 2014).

Photo: "The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams" by Chris Beckett is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

This story was published on August 26, 2020

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