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Hospitality and Embassy: The Persistent Influence of Kenneth Cragg on Anglican Theologies of Interfaith Relations

Richard Sudworth


Kenneth Cragg has been compared to the Catholic Orientalist Louis Massignon (1883-1962) as a source for Anglicans in their engagement with Islam much as Massignon seemed to be so influential in Catholic relations with Islam at Vatican II. This article seeks to assess the impact of Cragg’s work on Anglican reflections on other faiths produced at the three Lambeth Conferences of 1988, 1998, and 2008. It is argued that in each of these Lambeth Conferences there is evidence of resources that derive their influence directly from Cragg’s work. The three motifs that will be particularly identified for reflecting theologically on the task of interfaith relations that are indebted to Cragg are presence, embassy, and hospitality. The 2008 Lambeth Conference’s document Generous Love will be seen to embody a culmination of Cragg’s legacy in the significance of the theme of hospitality. Cragg’s legacy and especially its re-articulation within some of the theologies of Generous Love in 2008 resonate with the formative trajectory of Vatican II and present specifically Anglican resources for engaging with other faiths that are consonant within a wider Catholic tradition.

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