As I noted in Taking Stock 1, Queen Elizabeth the Second is Queen ‘by the grace of God’. Would it surprise you to know that, as I ventured to explore that path, I found pathways branching to… virtually everywhere? Questions that arose for me include;
- How many sitting monarchs today are monarchs ‘by the grace of God?’
- How many monarchs in the past ruled ‘by the grace of God?’
Notice here, I’ve begged an important question. Do the monarchs of today rule? Maybe. I’ve heard that the Queen of England is the richest woman in Europe. If true, that has to count for something.
I can’t even guess how many history books I would have to review to address the second question. I do know however that as I study history in the future, 1) I will be particularly attentive to this question and 2) this question will play some role in my selection of particular texts.
- And I wondered; upon precisely what conception of God does the Queen’s rule rest?
This is an easier question to address. There is a Church of England. It traces its origins to the Roman province of Britain c. 3 A.D. Ahh, now we’re in territory I only recently discovered. Picture this, here I am, with a doctorate degree from the University of California and I meet a remarkable fellow with a PhD in Patristics. Huh? Patristics? Well, come to find out, Patristics or Patrology is the study of the early Christian writers who are designated Church Fathers.
I want to study Patristics! What? I have to learn, Latin, Greek, Sumerian? That’s a bit much.