Monday, July 13, 2009

Banking and the legend of Canute

I've recently been in e-mail contact with Matt Freer who works for Oxford Diocese on environmental aspects of social responsibility and have learnt that the ethics of the diocese's banking are under discussion. No decisions yet, but we await conclusions with interest.

On a quite different note, having just got back off holiday I learnt that 'King Canute' was due to cycle into Oxford last week as part of a climate change demonstration. I've not been able to find what he did yet, but being a medieval historian, I'd just like to mention
1. the story of Canute and the waves is probably the invention of a twelfth-century cleric
2. the story was intended to indicate Canute's wisdom and piety. His shouts to the incoming waves (or the tide on the Thames, depending on your source) were a stunt which he followed by declaring 'Let all the world know that the power of kings is empty and worthless, and there is no king worthy of the name save Him by whose will heaven, earth and sea obey eternal laws'.

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