Church honour for Lancaster University lecturer

The Rev Anderson Jeremiah (right) with the Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Julian Henderson.
The Rev Anderson Jeremiah (right) with the Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Julian Henderson.

A Lancaster University Senior Lecturer has been installed as an Honorary Canon and Canon Theologian at Blackburn Cathedral.

The Rev Dr Anderson Jeremiah, from the University’s Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, was one of 11 new Canons collated and installed at the recent special service at Blackburn Cathedral.

The honour, an appointment by the Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Julian Henderson, is in recognition of Dr Jeremiah’s outstanding contribution to the life of the church in the Diocese of Blackburn and the wider Church of England.

A Canon Theologian is involved in the governance of the Cathedral Church but also functions as an advisor to the Bishop on theological matters. They also serve as a bridge between the church and academia, to teach and focus on basic Episcopal beliefs and practices of the church.

Dr Jeremiah is the first person in the history of Church of England from a Dalit Christian background belonging to the Church of South India to become a Canon Theologian.

He was ordained as a priest in the Church of South India (an Anglican Province), Diocese of Vellore.

Having worked as a parish priest and hospital chaplain for several years, Dr Jeremiah moved to Edinburgh to pursue doctoral research in the field of Contextual Theology.

During his research he also served in the Scottish Episcopal Church for over six years before moving to Lancaster University in 2012 to take up an academic position.

His research interests and publications focus on the lived facet of World Christianity, and its theological and missional engagement with other faith communities and the wider society.

He has worked with the Church Urban Fund, NearNeighbours and other environmental initiatives within the church.

“I am deeply passionate about social and environmental justice as a Gospel imperative,” says Dr Jeremiah.

“My passion for working towards justice and peace as central to Christian Discipleship stems from my early experience as a Dalit Christian in India, which I strive to translate into global context, be it racism, religious hatred, xenophobia and environmental crisis.”

Having experienced overt and covert racism, at every sphere of social and religious life, Dr Jeremiah strives to find ways to work for racial justice through his academic writing, membership in the Bishop’s Leadership Team and General Synod, most recently taking leadership in the Archbishops Anti-Racism Task Force.

Dr Jeremiah enjoys serving alongside his wife, the Rev Dr Rebecca Aechtner, the Vicar of St. Paul’s, Scotforth, Lancaster.

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