This well-researched and generally engaging history comprises three parts: Part I, ‘Themes and Wider Engagements’, with ten chapters and 250 pages, is by far the largest; Part II, ‘Institutional Development’, with two chapters and 60 pages, is the smallest; and Part III, ‘Regional Survey’, with three chapters and 100 pages, completes the picture. Fifteen scholars provide these chapters: nine from England, four from The Episcopal Church (as Anglicanism in the USA is nowadays labelled), one from Canada, and one, Ian Breward, not himself an Anglican, from Australia. Their ‘Western’ provinces are spelled out as the culturally Western ones in the specificity of Part III: the four Churches of Britain and Ireland (incautiously dubbed ‘the British Isles’ by Jeremy Morris in his ‘Historiographical Introduction’), Canada with The Episcopal Church, Australia with New Zealand. The demarcation between ‘Western’ and ‘non-Western’ is explained and defended in Morris’s introduction, and he very credibly locates the symposium’s terminus a quo with the great Edinburgh Missionary Conference of 1910. Thus the chronological bounds are set, and we enquire within them. However, the cultural bounds entailed by a study of ‘Global Western Anglicanism’ are not easy to determine, let alone to observe; and both Sarah Stockwell’s essay on ‘Decolonization’ and the two chapters in Part II on ‘Institutional Development’, by Colin Podmore and Ephraim Radner, inevitably include a whole-world purview; and Michael Snape on ‘War and Peace’ and Malcolm Brown on ‘Global Poverty and Justice’, while treating their themes from a Western (and indeed strongly British) provenance, are by definition seeking especially to assist the non-Western world, and therefore function with a global frontier. ‘Sexuality and Anglicanism’ (by William Sachs) could obviously not be confined to the West. However, Part III reasserts the restricted field of the three geographical areas of ‘Western’ culture. The book itself, handsome in its covers, as in its authors and subject matter, easily evokes at sight an initial confidence. There is much here to relish and much to learn. But even a reviewer who greatly respects the chosen contributors has nevertheless to qualify his verdict when the authors then give accounts that are unbalanced or disproportionate at important points. This affects several chapters, and perhaps the editor could have used a slightly heavier hand. The most significant section of Mark Chapman’s chapter on ‘The Evolution of Anglican Theology, 1910–2000’ is entitled ‘The Triumph of Anglo-Catholicism’. This begins with N. P. Williams, Hebert, Kirk, Dix, and Ramsey (I looked in vain for Gore, Frere, Mascall, Moorman, and a host of others). But it oddly does not finish—it trails off into other topics and does not report the slow collapse of Anglo-Catholicism. Evangelicalism, the absence of which in the years to 1950 is not explored, gets a passing mention which wraps together John Stott, Keele, Carey, McGrath, N. T. Wright, and David Ford. Apparently they ‘moved into the theological mainstream’, but they clearly did not interest the author. No book by them and no account of them comes in his bibliography. Next Louis Weil from California tackles ‘Liturgical Renewal and Modern Anglican Liturgy’. He recognizes the deep roots of 1662 in Anglicanism; but his survey of the ‘modern’, while typically scholarly, is wholly quirky in what it chooses to report. There is a page on ‘The Modern Liturgical Movement’, but the generalities have no dates and no examples to illuminate them; and it leads into not Anglicanism but three pages of ‘The Liturgical Movement in Roman Catholicism’. So can the Anglican rites now come on stage? No, there are then five pages of ‘The Ecumenical Dimension’. Well, Anglican liturgy must come now—and it ultimately does, but in the niche shape of ‘The International Anglican Liturgical Consultation’. Weil and I were both on this from the start, and it has done useful work in a small way. But it did not convene till 1985, and a meeting of rarely more than 40 people once every two years, with little money or resources, and no authority, cannot be compared with the sheer force of actual liturgical revision in many provinces. Yet the Consultation receives five pages of detailed description of meetings; and there the chapter finishes—we learn nothing about modern language in liturgy, nothing about experimentation, nothing about issues of ‘inclusiveness’, nothing about loosening of rubrics or changes of art, architecture, and ceremonial; we are spared all the canonical changes, all Anglican dates, all Lambeth Conferences, all controversies about eucharistic prayers, all textual issues. Instead we learn about a Common Lectionary and about pressure for the admission of unconfirmed children to communion. There is an eccentric bibliography. I doubted not a single word from Louis’s account, but when he had finished I had barely started. Cordelia Moyse on gender provides a kind of historiographical contrast to Weil. Here are dates and landmarks, precedents and consequents, to one’s heart’s content. There is real historical development carefully charted. One slip-up—the Anglican Consultative Council was surely not ‘largely constituted to deal with the “urgent” matter of women’s ordination’ (p. 83)? And when it then met in 1971 it did not ‘permit dioceses to ordain women’. The ACC had no powers, so gave no permissions; the members merely stated to the Bishop of Hong Kong that such ordinations would be ‘acceptable’ to them—and they voted but 24–22 in favour of that! William Sachs’s chapter on ‘Sexuality and Anglicanism’, written from a USA vantage-point, seems scrupulously objective in recording the ins and outs of gay relationships, particularly in relation to ordination, across the Communion. The stories of Gene Robinson and of Jeffrey John in 2003 are told with restraint. GAFCON and the formation of the Anglican Church of North America are accorded proper treatment. This chapter is closely mirrored in Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook’s later regional chapter on ‘North American Anglicanism’. The collapse of the ‘Covenant’ also figures in both chapters. Matthew Grimley has to handle ‘The State, Nationalism, and Anglican Identities’ across a very mixed bag of Anglican provinces, though concentrating on England, and not quite confronting establishment issues. Martyn Percy has a chapter on ‘Sociology’, i.e. ‘Class, Ethnicity, and Education’. Class is there (even the evangelical ‘Bash’ camps appear); and education is there in a small way. Sociology is there in strength. But ethnicity? Where is the struggle of the Minority Ethnic Anglicans—their slow achievement of a General Synod Committee for their concerns, their actual gaining of ground in the Church of England, and the long distance they yet have to go? ‘Racial discrimination’ is listed among the ills identified by Faith in the City, and that one line is almost the total account here (the Simon of Cyrene Institute gets a mention, but in the wrong decade). Minority Ethnic Anglicans in England are accustomed to being invisible, but surely not in a chapter labelled ‘Ethnicity’? Yet not only the text, but also the many footnoted references and the ‘Select Bibliography’ (which wonderfully includes a title on a ‘North Yorkshire Fishing Village’) give virtually no hint of a mixed ethnicity. And if no ethnic issues arose in Britain, was that true too of the USA? New Zealand gets a brief mention, but its revolutionary (and perhaps controversial) ‘Tikanga’ restructuring remains unnoticed here while only very briefly reported in the ‘Australia and New Zealand’ chapter. Paul Avis, whose knowledge and experience are massive, provides a wealth of valuable information on ‘Anglicanism and Christian Unity in the Twentieth Century’. Yet here we have three and a half pages on the (unofficial, unrepresentative, and wholly abortive) Malines Conversations (1921–7), while the 50 years or more of the post-Vatican II Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission and all its controversial work are shoehorned into just one page. And within England Avis reports a gap after the 1972 defeat of the Anglican–Methodist Scheme, the next 22 years being when ‘the wounds … were slow to heal’. But in fact the ecumenical initiatives continued through those years, almost without a break (Avis elsewhere mentions the devising of ecumenical canons post-1982, but does not mention the five-denominations Covenant of 1978–82). The editor writes on Britain and Ireland, inevitably overlapping with the earlier thematic chapters. On p. 414 he very precisely deflates the romanticizing of the Life and Liberty Movement, but later he muddles the Synodical Government Measure 1969, which led to the General Synod in 1970, with the Chadwick Report on Church and State, which only reported in 1970 and then became the business of the newly elected Synod. He addresses ‘Church Parties’ with more attention than Chapman; and he rightly sees evangelicalism between the wars as at a low point, and recognizes a resurgence in more recent years; but he achieves a remarkable muddle over Keele on p. 423. There was indeed a public passage-of-words (‘the most famous confrontation in modern British Evangelical history’) between John Stott and Martyn Lloyd-Jones in 1966 about secession, but it did not happen at the Keele Congress (which Lloyd-Jones would hardly have attended). Keele itself came in 1967, and witnessed 1,000 evangelicals rejecting secession in favour of an involvement with good conscience and much energy in the corporate life of the Church of England. It is perhaps surprising to find a bibliography recommending biographies of Davidson and Temple, but without mention of Lang, Fisher, Ramsey, Coggan, or Runcie. From a largely Church of England standpoint, I found that, quite apart from gaps exposed in the chapters mentioned above, there were other themes which might well have been addressed, but were not. Such might include: Billy Graham, the role of the clergy, establishment, appointment of bishops, diocesanization of the Church of England, issues of patronage, redistribution of church wealth, the charismatic movement (and its accompanying creativity in song), the media revolution, and—very relevant as I write—the GAFCON-inspired Anglican Mission in England (AMiE). Within the whole series the next volume (V), on ‘Global Anglicanism’ (but apparently meaning ‘Non-Western Anglicanism’) for the same period, edited by William Sachs, has been published a little later than this Volume IV. While Morris acknowledges here that the division of twentieth-century Anglicanism which resulted in this ‘Western’ study is not ‘very satisfactory or neat’, it will be of interest to the keen historian to see whether the two halves will now seamlessly cohere. There are inevitably plenty of potential joining-points provided by the current volume. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: email@example.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model)
Journal of Theological Studies – Oxford University Press
Published: Oct 1, 2018
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