Daniel Larison has a very charitable -- meaning he kindly chose not to read me in the worst light possible -- and I think helpful post on my recent discussion of Anglicanism. He gets at a few infelicities in my phrasing and arguments that are worth clarifying.
My great concern is that Anglicanism in "the Global South" will become nothing more than fundamentalism with fancy robes and a modified prayer book. So far as I can tell there is basically no theological sophistication in the African primates' arguments about the issues that are so vexing to the Anglican Communion right now. That is, simplistic appeals to Scriptural proof-texts seem to be to be a very poor way of arguing about matters. This is as much a betrayal of historic Anglican identity as is the progressive insistence on theological innovation. By siding, in a sense, with Canterbury and Rowan Williams -- or at least to the extent I am doing so -- I believe myself to be pushing against both the fundamentalists (I use the term in a narrow, fairly technical sense, not in a Sullivan-esque spirit of sweeping condemnation) and the progressives. My arguments about contingency are really an entreaty to resist innovation of both valences -- I'm rather fond of the muddled tradition as it stands and would rather not answer certain questions or seek new answers, whether that be in terms of new institutions or new theological litmus tests. I admit this may be untenable.
I should add that my statement, "To not go through Canterbury would be, simply, to no longer be Anglican," was too hasty and ill-conceived. What I was trying to express by claiming that “the basic principle of being Anglican" was to go through Canterbury was my concern for the perpetuation of a certain tradition that I find congenial and, if not intrinsic to Anglican identity, than very near to being so -- though perhaps in subservience to other theological principles, possibly the 39 Articles. Put differently, I don't know what it would mean to be Anglican outside of the current structure of the Communion. I have a feeling it would mean, basically, being like any other Protestant fundamentalist church, but with robes and infant baptism. I suppose I view organizing through Canterbury as preserving a connection to a particular tradition and moderating all the sundry theological perspectives in the Communion. This may no longer be possible, but that never meant it was not a grand dream.
And, to repeat myself, I think what is most interesting about the fate of the Anglican Communion is what it is teaching us about the fate of religion in the modern world -- where it is prospering, how theological traditions are being transformed, and more. But I appreciate Daniel's points, keeping in mind my (perhaps unhelpful and ultimately unsatisfactory) clarifications above.