Saturday, January 9, 2010


If you are looking for a definition of ubuntu, be sure to include Desmond Tutu in your search. Otherwise you are likely to get a lot of hits on a computer operating system of the same name. The concept of ubuntu is that we are who we are through the experience of others. This page is a more in depth explanation

Tutu on Ubuntu

I first heard of this concept when it was used by an Episcopalian bishop. News of her statement spread rapidly throughout the Christian community, not because it was embraced as a positive message for world peace, but because it was perceived as a threat. On this blogger’s page, the Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori is awarded the “Rand villain award”, apparently something just made up, for her statement. The controversial part of her speech is excerpted

The Controversy

If you are interested in the entire speech, it is here

The whole speech

Did you have any trouble finding the controversial parts? If I had not been told someone had a problem with this speech, I don’t think I would have guessed it. Below is another reference to the Bishop with a short video of her. I had to read the paragraph about it a few times to understand where the writer of it was coming from. I still don’t know what definition of “grace” they are using that they would call the Bishop “twisted”.


In the past, Christian sects have split off based on whether or not leavened bread should be used in communion, or whether the words “Mary, Mother of God” should be used in prayer. That may seem silly to us now, but it definitely was not then. The question of whether Jesus died for the whole world or do individuals need to continue to seek salvation and access God through specific actions will, I hope, seem silly to our ancestors. Now, it seems very serious to some people because it has implications for how they should be treating people who are gay, people who are Muslim and complex questions of the right to life.

Desmond Tutu has a book on the subject of Ubuntu if you would like to explore that further.

Desmond's book

If you want in introduction to what the “traditional” Anglicans are thinking, you could try reading this article by someone who attempted to engage the Bishop on this topic. I have nothing good to say about it, so I will leave it up to you to judge.

Another opinion

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