Anglicans/an uneasy question


Why should I be alive and live here on earth? Should I just live in order just because I am here and am afraid of death? I have existential problems (and I don't wanna die).

Dear Andrew,

Most of us question, from time to time, why we are on this earth, what the point of our existence might be. Life and death are part of the natural, God-given order of things. It may be that you fear death - and who doesn't? - but the Bible tells us that if we put our trust in the Lord we will be fine after death. Even non-believers can take some consolation that, whatever happens to them after death, if in life they have made a positive effort, then they at least will have tried to leave the world a better place than if they had not lived at all. It may be that your own questioning of your existence may help others find their own paths in life. I think you probably would benefit from talking about these issues with a sympathetic, non-judgemental individual, a spiritual adviser as it were.  


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The Reverend Professor Noel Cox


I can answer questions on theology, Anglican ecclesiology, and ecclesiastical and canon law.


I am a Professor of Law, and a barrister (advocate). I am a priest in the Diocese of St Davids, Wales. Formerly based in New Zealand, from 2010 I have been a Professor of Law (and until 2013 head of the law school) at Aberystwyth University, Wales. I am a Distinguished Academic Associate of the Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff University.

Association of Lambeth Degree Holders; Australasian Law Teachers Association; Commonwealth Lawyers Association; Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans; Legal Research Foundation; The Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society; The Burgon Society (Fellow); Credo Cymru - Forward in Faith Wales; The Foundation of the College of St George; The Friends of Canterbury Cathedral; The Friends of Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell; The Friends of St Davids Cathedral; The Royal Historical Society (Fellow); The Society of King Charles the Martyr; The Society of Legal Scholars; The Ecclesiastical Law Society; Honourable Society of the Inner Temple; Affirming Catholicism; The Mission Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda; International Commission and Association on Nobility; Irish Peers’ Association; Centre for Law and Religion.

The law of the church in the twenty-first century: Essays on law and religion (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013); Church and State in the Post-Colonial Era: The Anglican Church and the Constitution in New Zealand (Polygraphia (NZ) Ltd, 2008); “The Anglican Church and its decision-making structures” [2008] New Zealand Law Journal 121-124; “The Revenge of the Arcane Exclusion Clause: The Civil Registration of Marriage and the Royal Family” (2005) 5(2) Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal 179-204; “The nature of ministerial authority in the Anglican Church in New Zealand” (2005) 119(2) Churchman 105-136; “The Symbiosis of Secular and Spiritual Influences upon the Judiciary of the Anglican Church in New Zealand” (2004) 9(1) Deakin Law Review 145-182; “Dispensation, Privileges, and the Conferment of Graduate Status: With Special Reference to Lambeth Degrees” (2002-2003) 18(1) Journal of Law and Religion 249-274; “The Influence of the Common Law and the Decline of the Ecclesiastical Courts of the Church of England” (2001-2002) 3(1) Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion 1-45 ; “Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction in the Church of the Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia” (2001) 6(2) Deakin Law Review 266-284; “Authority for the use of the Royal Arms in Churches” (2000) 5 (27) Ecclesiastical Law Journal 408-416.

Apart from my legal training I have an MTheol from the University of Auckland (on the validity of Anglican Orders), an MA from the Archbishop of Canterbury's Examination in Theology (a "Lambeth degree", on the basis of the legal authority of the Anglican church in New Zealand), and an LTh from the University of Wales Lampeter.

Awards and Honors
Visiting Fellow, St Edmund's College, University of Cambridge 2009 Visiting Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Cambridge 2006 Fellow of The Royal Historical Society 2004- Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Law, The Australian National University 2003-2004 Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award, Researcher, Auckland University of Technology 2002 Fowlds Memorial Prize in Law, as the most distinguished student in the Faculty of Law, The University of Auckland 1994 Grand Cordon, The Royal and Hashemite Order of the Pearl (Sultanate of Sulu) 2011

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