Archbishop of Canterbury to host Muslim dialogue

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, convened the seventh Building Bridges Seminar in Rome this week. The interfaith dialogue event has brought together Muslim and Christian scholars since 2002, when hosted at Lambeth Palace by Dr George Carey, the then Archbishop of Canterbury. The seminar studied Biblical and Qur’anic texts, with a view to exchanging not just theological ideas, but scholarly techniques. A spokesperson for the Archbishop of Canterbury said: “What we see with the Muslims is they actually get quite excited about how we do our theology. You see them playing with an idea and it really is fascinating.” The seminar, which is organised in partnership with Georgetown University, ran from Tuesday to Thursday.

Archbishop of Canterbury tries to defuse row over sharia law but refuses to apologize

The Archbishop of Canterbury has sought to defuse the bitter row over what he appeared to claim was the unavoidable adoption of sharia law in the UK by conceding that his controversial comments may have been unclear and “clumsily deployed”. Whilst taking full responsibility for his part in the highly damaging episode, which resulted in calls for him to resign and sparked a disagreement with Downing Street, Dr Rowan Williams fell short of offering a full-blown apology and refused to back down. Instead he insisted that the Church of England had a “considerable” responsibility to other faith groups and asserted that it was not “inappropriate” to raise issues surrounding Islam or other religions – comments that were immediately welcomed by Muslim leaders. Departing from his intended remarks at the opening of the General Synod in London yesterday, Dr Williams said: “I must of course take responsibility for any unclarity either in that text or in the radio interview and for any misleading use of words that has helped to cause distress or misunderstanding among the public at large or especially my fellow Christians.” Jonathan Brown reports.

Williams tries to defuse row over sharia law but refuses to apologise

The Archbishop of Canterbury has sought to defuse the bitter row over what he appeared to claim was the unavoidable adoption of sharia law in the UK by conceding that his controversial comments may have been unclear and ” clumsily deployed”. Whilst taking full responsibility for his part in the highly damaging episode, which resulted in calls for him to resign and sparked a disagreement with Downing Street, Dr Rowan Williams fell short of offering a full-blown apology and refused to back down. Instead he insisted that the Church of England had a “considerable” responsibility to other faith groups and asserted that it was not “inappropriate” to raise issues surrounding Islam or other religions – comments that were immediately welcomed by Muslim leaders.

Bishop Nazir Ali faces death threats and also anger of Archbishop of Canterbury

The Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, is under police protection after he and his family received death threats over his claim that parts of Britain had become no-go areas for non-Muslims The Bishop is also facing anger from the most senior members of the Church of England hierarchy for his comments on Islam. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has made Islam a priority of his archiepiscopate and set up a Muslim-Christian forum to promote relations between the faiths in 2006. One senior cleric told The Times yesterday: The Bishop of Rochester is in effect threatening to undo everything we have done. The cleric said that some congregations in cities such as Leicester, where interfaith work was a priority, were increasingly wary of donating money towards this work. Church leaders in towns with a large Muslim population were anxious that relations with their neighbors were being undermined