N.T. Wright is the rare sort of theologian who attracts respect from both conservatives and liberals. He became Bishop of Durham in 2003, and for the past year has served on the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lambeth Commission on Communion. In this interview with contributing editor Douglas LeBlanc, he discusses how the commission's Windsor Report can help the Anglican Communion resolve its conflicts about homosexuality, ordination, and pastoral blessings for gay couples.
Archbishop Robin Eames has said more than once that leading this commission was the hardest work he's ever done. How difficult was it for you as a member of the commission?
Well, the fact that Robin was leading it made it a lot easier for the rest of us because he is a remarkable man in every way. And it was a privilege to work under him. And I'm not just saying that. I've sat under many chairmen in my time, and he's one of the best. And he's a very wise statesman who can see around the issues and see where the dynamics are and so on. So the fact that he was doing it made it a lot easier for the rest of us.
In some funny ways, I enormously enjoyed it, rather like one would enjoy an extremely hard-played sports match. There was a sense of excitement and exhilaration about trying to wrestle with the big issues and work out what we all meant and particularly how to listen to each other and be sure we heard what each other was saying.
Of the commission's three meetings, was there one in which that give and take was most evident?
I think each meeting had its own internal dynamic. We had presentations from a variety of points of view at the first meeting and then we discussed those and really got to know each other and worked at what the issues were. At the second meeting ...1