Secretary General of the Anglican Communion visits Southwest

IMG_4490[2]The Most Rev. Dr. Josiah Atkins Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, was the guest of the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, ninth Bishop of Texas, on a visit to Seminary of the Southwest this past April 27th. The Secretary General visited with students and faculty, attended a lunchtime Q&A, and took part in a colloquy led by Bishop Doyle.

The visit by the Archbishop, who was installed in his role in 2015, was a meaningful and tangible learning opportunity for seminarians. Dr. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, the Duncalf-Villavaso Associate Professor of Church History, reflected on the importance of such visits to the student body: “I recently taught my church history students about Samuel Ajayi Crowther. He too was a Nigerian like Archbishop Josiah and in 1864 became the first Anglican African bishop, only to be forced to resign decades later due to racist attitudes. For our students to be with Archbishop Josiah, the first African Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, was to witness a new chapter in the process of reconciliation that is the story of our contemporary Anglican Communion.”

IMG_4539[1]Dr. Scott Bader-Saye, Academic Dean and the Helen and Everett H. Jones Professor of Christian Ethics and Moral Theology, said, “Archbishop Josiah gave our students a bigger picture of what is happening in the Anglican communion.  He discussed the important of the work of reconciliation – between Christians and Muslims and within the Anglican Communion itself.  As our students head out into a polarized political climate this work of dialogue and reconciliation will be important for their ministries.”

Archbishop Idowu-Fearon is the seventh Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, and has lectured and been published widely. He is known as a “bridge-builder”, especially in terms of Muslim-Christian relations.  Idowu-Fearon has been noted for his ability to combine “dedication to his Christianity with genuine respect for Islam as a religion” which made him suitable for his “role of being the midwife of peace and understanding” between Christians and Muslims. (Daily Trust)IMG_4470[1]

Former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold told Episcopal News Service following the appointment, “Josiah is, above all, a man of communion, a careful listener, and a respecter of the different ways in which we are called to articulate and live the good news of God in Jesus Christ,”

The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, sent a letter to Idowu-Fearon after his appointment stating, “Your exceptional record of devoted work on Christian-Muslim relations is a specific gift you bring to your new role,” said Tveit in his letter. “Developing the role of churches as peace-builders and dialogue partners in a time when religiously motivated violence is causing devastation to so many is an urgent demand for us all as faithful Christians.”