Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anglican Communion (Wiley Blackwell Companions to Religion

by Markham, Ian S., Hawkins, J. Barney, Terry, Justyn and Leslie Nuñez Steffensen.

The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the
Edited by Rev. Dr. Ian Markham, Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry Hawkins J. Barney and others
753pp Hardback $150.77; Kindle edition $89.99

Reviewed by David W. Virtue DD
May 21, 2014

Every so often, a volume comes along that becomes a marker for a whole generation of Anglicans. Thus it is with the new 750-page Companion to the Anglican Communion written by a number of serious Anglican scholars in 65 concise chapters. It covers everything from a global account of the history, expansion and diversity of the Anglican Communion to contemporary issues facing the Communion today.

The book opens with history – locating the Anglican Communion in the History of Anglicanism. Written by the scholarly Bishop Gregory K. Cameron, Bishop of Asaph, Wales and one time secretary of the Lambeth Commission on Communion, it begins in 1867 but quickly reverts to "Early Diversity: A Prehistory of the Anglican Communion, 1530-1776". His section concludes with these words, “So it was that when 76 bishops of the Anglican Communion met in Lambeth in September 1876, the hopes and aspirations of many to see one communion which drew all the branches of Anglicanism together were realized.”

"The History of Mission" by Titus Pressler outlines the history of the Prayer Book, the establishment of the DFMS in 1821 and the Five Marks of Mission, plus the recognition that the vision and priorities of Global South Anglicans, now the majority, will increasingly define the communion’s mission theology, vision and program. He notes, “Future divergence and convergence about human sexuality will affect whether Anglican mission initiatives collaborate or become increasingly fractured.”

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