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Tom Stuckey
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Tom Stuckey was President of the British Methodist Conference in 2005. This website has been set up with his wife Christine, to introduce you to our writings and encourage theological reflection both within the Methodist Church and beyond. Take a look and let us know what you think! 

Tom Stuckey   

CLICK PICTURE FOR TOM'S   PROFILE      

 


                     JULY 2018   
             
This month is that I have started to do some reading and thinking about HOLY SATURDAY. If you click on reactions to my book (HERE) you will see that some wanted to know more about this. I had suggested that this metaphor had replaced the 'Edge of Pentecost' metaphor because the situations both within Methodism and in the world around us have changed radically.

Within the voluminous writings of the theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar there is a controversial theology of Holy Saturday.  This seemed a good place to start my explorations. I have therefore written an essay on this Roman Catholic theologian to gain some understanding of where he is coming from and why he expounds the creedal statement 'He descended into hell' in the way he does.  Take a look at this essay by clicking
HERE.

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                SINGING THE LORD'S SONG IN A STRANGE LAND

                     The normal price of one book plus postage is now 10. 
                              Contact me on 
 mail1@tomstuckey.me.uk              

The book is also obtainable from:          Christian resources for Life (CRfl), Stoke on Trent.            Sarum College, Salisbury.         The New Room, Bristol.                  Westminster Central Hall.                 Scroll Eaters, Stroud.                  Keith Jones, Bournemouth.   

    Click the picture to read a sample

                          Click HERE for a review of reactions to the book.                                                                   

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Christine's visit to Albania.

'Albania Hope' is the MWiB Southampton District's project to raise money for projects which 'encourage, equip and enable Albanian young people to reach their full potential'.

A group decided to go (at their own expense) to look at some of the projects the District was supporting through the Mary Ward Loreto foundation.

In a country where the trafficking of young people is rife, the Foundation offer's young people a future in their own country filled with hope over and against the allure and false promises offered by the traffickers. 



Read Christine's diary by clicking HERE

            

                          CHRISTINE'S PAPERS
                                    
 (select below)             
                                                                         
     1. 
Pilgrimage to Lindisfarne      4.  Albanian Diary
 
       2.  MWiB District Celebration

     3.  A Pilgrimage at home        5. Pilgrimage poem
 
 

  

 

THIS MONTH'S REFLECTION   by Tom

                      'Inbred Sin' 

In transient, materialistic cultures like ours individuals get detached from their community story. In their estrangement individuals will suffer from anomie and lose any sense of who they are. A desperate need to belong can drive the person to seek an identity in teenage gangs or fundamentalist groups. Some will join Churches. In cultures which are rural, tribal or static  myth and memory play a lead role as Mary Grey shows us in her book on Rwanda. Events of genocide like those in Bosnia and Rwanda are not about neighbours falling out and becoming enemies overnight; they are rooted in painful memory. Stories of unredeemed evil and unresolved sin in a past generation come back to haunt a generation centuries later.  ‘Inbred sin’ is therefore personal and corporate. It is rooted in the past as well as the present.

If we have an optimistic or idealistic view of human nature then social programmes of liberation, reform, education and restructuring will be seen as the answer. Unfortunately there are no longer any grounds for such idealism as Alistair MacIntyre pointed out years ago. Socialism, liberalism and Marxism have not only failed to deliver but have become the new barbarians who, in bureaurocratic re-incarnations, now tyrannize us. Optimism is also a dream as the writings of Rene Girard show. Deep within the human psyche is the murderous myth of Cain and Abel. Cain is in each of us. A river of violence has never ceased to flow through the history of humanity. Violence is a mimetic contagion which spawns itself through bigotry, self-justification and scapegoating. To put it crudely ‘sin is in our blood’. We are caught on a wheel of fire. If one-time victims manage to shake off the chains of oppression they often go on to become the new oppressors.

 

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 LAST MONTH'S REFLECTION by Tom 

                               'Living with Tension'

The children of Israel are promised a new land of their own. This poses a difficulty. There are already people living in the space Israel seeks to occupy. Should these former slaves of Egypt understand their mission in terms of a military crusade so that their uniqueness and security is guaranteed or should they be accommodating and maybe lose that uniqueness? The choice seems to be between ethnic nationalism or liberative universalism, between conquest or suffering, of becoming either an oppressor or a victim. Israel’s dilemma has a contemporary ring.  

The presence of people already dwelling in the promised land, also raises a theological problem since they too are chosen by God and live under the inclusive rainbow sign of the first covenant. Surely God is pledged to preserve and give them space, not annihilate them? There seems to be a dialectical tension between the first universal covenant and this second particular covenant? Should Israel launch a pre-emptive strike (Josh. 8, 25) or should the option of a peaceful mission of co-existence be tried (Jud 1.29)? The acuteness of this moral dilemma is brought out by the Jewish scholar Samuel Sandmel: 'It is clear that the promised land had once belonged to others...yet they were to lose the land and the Hebrews to gain it. Is there not a certain uneasiness reflected in some of the overtones of Scripture about one people taking a land which had not been theirs?'

 

 
  Boards and President