February 21, 2014

#Facepalm Friday: Pres. Bishop Jefferts-Schori to Give C. S. Lewis Lecture

Katherine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will be delivering the C. S. Lewis Legacy Lecture at Westminster College in Fulton, MO. Slated to occur on February 27, the event is supposed to deal with science and religion. According to the press release, Cliff Cain, the Harrod-C.S. Lewis Professor of Religious Studies Chair at the college, announced, “We are quite honored that the Presiding Bishop accepted our invitation to lecture…Her divinity degree combined with her bachelor’s degree in biology and two graduate degrees in oceanography make her uniquely qualified to offer remarks on this subject.”


TEC’s favorite oceanographer probably could share some interesting insights between science and some kind of religious belief.

On the other hand, traditional Anglican everywhere may have suffered multiple aneurysms at the tremendous irony of this particular situation. Bishop Jefferts Schori prominently delivering her thoughts at a special lecture named after Jack Lewis? Really?

Even though both individuals are connected to the Anglican Communion, similarities quickly dissipate as tremendous contradictions come to the foreground. Whereas C. S. Lewis was a champion of traditional Christian orthodoxy, Jefferts Schori  has proven a tireless footsoldier for doctrinal revisionism. While the former re-casted deep theological truths into popular stories like the Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy, the latter reinterpreted biblical texts to condemn St. Paul himself. Lewis has not only united classical Anglicans but Christians in general with his impressive corpus of writing; Jefferts Schori has managed to help catalyze a global rupture in the world third largest Christian communion.

I suppose there are important commonalities that I neglected to mentions. Both are associated with wars of a sort. Lewis fought in WWI and gave his famous Mere Christianity BBC radio talks in WWII. The Presiding Bishop has been so kind as to lead a legal assault against congregations leaving the Episcopal Church. As a field marshal, she’s shown quite a bit of derring-do, most famously exemplified in the removal of Bishop Mark Lawrence and over 700 clergy.

However, one cannot help wondering if Westminster College realized how far Jefferts Schori is from Lewis on the opposite side of the spectrum. Those with even a cursory understanding of the two figures are boggled by cognitive dissonance. There are almost too many contradictions to shuffle through. Perhaps one could start with the inconvenient fact that Lewis was stridently opposed to women’s ordination. We can work on from there. I suppose the old boy would be spinning in his grave if he didn’t have better things to do at the moment.

Nevertheless, because of her high ecclesiastical position, the Presiding Bishop is deemed an expert on the Christian faith’s teachings. Maybe her long list of juridical endeavors can also grant her a spot to deliver a noted lecture to the legal community.

8 Responses to #Facepalm Friday: Pres. Bishop Jefferts-Schori to Give C. S. Lewis Lecture

  1. Faith McDonnell says:

    Great, Bart! And don’t forget her resemblance to Lewis’ character who makes it always winter, but never Christmas. 😉

  2. cleareyedtruthmeister says:

    Events like this define cognitive dissonance.

    This is Nietzsche interpreting Chesterton…vinegar lecturing on the virtues of soda.

  3. equalog says:

    “It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.

    There are no ordinary people.

    You have never talked to a mere mortal….

    We must play.

    But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”

    C.S. Lewis

  4. Wayne Lusvardi says:

    Hey, if Progressive Jim Wallis can co-opt evangelical Bonhoeffer why can’t Jefferts-Schori co-opt Lewis? It is sort of like Screwtape co-opts Christianity for his purposes. Jefferts Schori is the high priest of the New Knowledge Class of climate scientists, academics, environmentalists, social workers, advocacy lawyers, activists of all sorts who, dependent on the largesse of government, wage class warfare on the Old Business Class. The New Knowledge Class has appropriated Christianity for their use. The whole point is to subvert Christianity for the purposes of the Knowledge Class. It’s right out of Screwtape Letters or more appropriately Screwtape Proposes a Toast. Or even better the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. May the White Witch rule Anglicanism for 100 years of Deep Winter (with no Christmases as the above commenter notes).

  5. David Naas says:

    Perhaps she will be giving a dramatic illustration of The Screwtape Letters? She will be playing the part of Uncle Screwtape? Or Wormwood?

  6. Modernist Bishop from The Great Divorce says:

    A bold choice! What risk! Truly an invitee to be celebrated! She will allow us to break free of our childish, preposterous notions of God and Her Church.
    Yes, Her Church. We are called to the free wind of inquiry to define gender as our enlightened brothers and sisters and brother-sisters see fit. However, we mustn’t recognize God’s preferred gender pronoun as it would unfairly promote the archaic, paternalistic notions our Church once taught in heresy. We are beyond such childish and preposterous notions.
    With Allah and Mother Earth’s help, she will courageously lead us to question existence, reality, Christ, the Church, Reason and all others matters that have caused us to frustrate the graces of the holy tabernacles of Liberalism.

  7. Mack Hall, HSG says:

    Poor, demented old woman.

    Lewis alluded to an insane man who thought he was a poached egg; this unfortunate woman thinks she’s a bishop.

    One pities such a person and tries to help her; one does not hinder her mental health by indulging her fantasies.

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