Wednesday, 20 June 2007

'I am both Muslim and Christian'

So says the Revd Ann Holmes Redding, a woman in Anglican priestly orders, who apparently does not find Christianity sufficiently fulfilling, and so divides her time between her church and the local mosque, where she has converted to Islam without renouncing either her Christian faith (she says)—or her stipend as an Episcopalian clergyperson. In all this she has the support of her bishop.
You can read all about it here.

Redding, who will begin teaching the New Testament as a visiting assistant professor at Seattle University this fall, has a different analogy: "I am both Muslim and Christian, just like I'm both an American of African descent and a woman. I'm 100 percent both."
Redding doesn't feel she has to resolve all the contradictions. People within one religion can't even agree on all the details, she said. "So why would I spend time to try to reconcile all of Christian belief with all of Islam?
"At the most basic level, I understand the two religions to be compatible. That's all I need."
She says she felt an inexplicable call to become Muslim, and to surrender to God — the meaning of the word "Islam."
"It wasn't about intellect," she said. "All I know is the calling of my heart to Islam was very much something about my identity and who I am supposed to be.
"I could not not be a Muslim."
As for her bishop:
Redding's situation is highly unusual. Officials at the national Episcopal Church headquarters said they are not aware of any other instance in which a priest has also been a believer in another faith. They said it's up to the local bishop to decide whether such a priest could continue in that role.
Redding's bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting. Her announcement, first made through a story in her diocese's newspaper, hasn't caused much controversy yet, he said.
Hunting on the net for a pic of her, (above) I discovered here that she has another bee in her headscarf; the poison that is in her body from pollution. Ironical.
(H/T to Damian Thompson and Dhimmi Watch)


Anonymous said...

Seems to make a mockery of the priestly caste in both religions to me - her Bishop should know better than to give his blessing to such a thing. Can't imagine the Muslims are too happy about the situation, either! The word 'anathema' springs to mind ...

Anonymous said...

"People within one religion can't even agree on all the details, she said. "So why would I spend time to try to reconcile all of Christian belief with all of Islam?"
It seems to me that the divinity of Christ and the nature of God as One and Three in the Holy Trinity, revealed by Jesus, are rather more than "details".


the dúnadan said...

There must be something in the air; this is is the second story of its kind that I have read in the last year - last September a Church of England vicar converted to Hinduism. He said,

“I have neither explicitly nor implicitly renounced my Christian faith or priesthood,” [the Rev Hart said. He]believes that his change to Hinduism would be “read in the spirit of open exploration and dialogue, which is an essential feature of our shared modern spirituality”. He also said that he would continue to celebrate as an Anglican priest... but he would also visit a Hindu temple... “My philosophical position is that all religions are cultural constructs,” he said. “I am acting out God’s story in local terms.”
In an earlier interview in India, the former University of Cambridge chaplain said that he was planning to immerse his idol of the four-armed Ganesh in the ocean.
“In England, the idol of Ganesha is more popular than Krishna or any other Indian god and many households have Ganesha in the living room,” Mr Hart said.
“The modern world is no longer dominated by any single form of belief. It is a world of religious pluralism. The Anglican Church firmly believes in engaging itself fully in inter-faith dialogues. God is the same irrespective of whether you pray to him in a temple, church or mosque.”


Joe said...

I just wonder of it really matters what the woman thinks. She clearly isn't a true Christian - and hardly a true muslim either. I wonder what would happen to her if she went to Iran or Saudi - I guess she'd then really find out what "details" are.

Andrew said...

What a funny looking woman...

Maud said...

Good heavens, what a fuss, we have had Anglican-atheists for years, Don Cupitt for example, so what is wrong with and Anglican/Episcopalian-Muslim?

Anonymous said...

How confused is she?

heaven help us!

Mac McLernon said...

Her theology's dodgy to start with, as she's one of those wimmyn-priests, so throwing in a helping of Islam is hardly surprising!

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Paulinus said...

Now I see why some Muslim women wear the full face veil.

Ma Beck said...

She's just covering all her bases.
Probably she's also a Scientololgist and a Hare Krishna on alternating weekends.