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Methodius Hayes [userpic]

(no subject)

December 22nd, 2002 (08:31 am)

current mood: curious

It's a bright sunny Sunday morning, and I'm trying this out for the first time, so I'll have to see how it works before writing a lot.

Methodius Hayes [userpic]

Arthur Shearly Cripps and St Herman of Alaska

December 22nd, 2002 (10:25 pm)

I've been editing a book on the Christian ministry of healing in Zimbabwe, with four case studies: Anglican, Roman Catholic, and two African Independent Churches. Because the authors did not write adequate introductions, I've had to do some background reading, and so came across Arthur Shearly Cripps, whose life and ministry seems to bear some remarkable parallels to St Herman of Alaska.

St Herman of Alaska lived about a century before Arthur Shearly Cripps, in the early 19th century. He was the last of a band of missionaries who had come from Russia, most of whom had died in shipwrecks and other misadventures. He objected to the exploitation of the native Americans by the Russian North America Company, and eventually lived on his own on Spruce Island, a life of prayer and witness.

Arthur Shearly Cripps, unlike St Herman, was not a monk, but he was a celibate Anglican priest in what was then Rhodesia. He also faced a situation of colonial explotation, by the British South Africa Company. He lived on his own, and walked from place to place, disdaining cars or horses or even a donkey. Unlike St Herman, he was not completely remote from his bishop, and he walked the 95 miles to synods in Salisbury. But he was regarded as strange by many of his contemporaries, some of whom, it seems wavered between thinking him a saint, or crazy, or just a nuisance. He lived a hundred years after St Herman of Alaska, and in another continent. Yet both identified with the local people.

Perhaps that is the nucleus of an idea for a journal article.

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