The Most Reverend Doctor Peter Carnley, who currently serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at General Seminary, has been awarded a Lambeth Doctor of Divinity degree, an academic honor, from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. Archbishop Carnley received the honor, in a ceremony at Lambeth Palace on Tuesday, October 16, 2012, in recognition of his long and distinguished service to the Anglican Communion, his leadership of the church in Australia, and his commitment and significant contribution to ecumenical engagement and dialogue.
Lambeth degrees are academic awards based on recipients' contribution to religious, academic and public life. Interestingly, the Archbishop of Canterbury's right and practice in awarding Lambeth degrees, which are exempt from residential or examination requirements, began in the sixteenth century when attendance at Oxford and Cambridge, the only universities at that time in England, was frequently disrupted by the difficulty of travel or outbreaks of the plague.
Archbishop Carnley has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Anglican Studies at General Seminary since the Michaelmas (Fall) 2011 term. He teaches courses in systematic theology, including one on Anglican approaches to the Resurrection of Christ, and ethics, and advanced degree seminars on Anglican theology, identity and unity.
From 1981 to 2005, he was the Anglican Archbishop of Perth, Australia, and in 2000, he was elected Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia. His ecumenical contributions have included serving as a member of the group that prepared ecumenical resources for the 1988 Lambeth Conference and, at this Conference, the drafting of the Lambeth resolution on Anglican-Lutehran relations that established the principle of "interim eucharistic sharing," preparing the way for the international Anglican-Lutheran unity initiatives in the following decade.
In 2005, Archbishop Carnley was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, established in 1975 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, in recognition of his international work, especially for the Anglican Communion and in relation to ecumenism.
To learn more about the Lambeth degrees and the 2012 degree recipients, click here.