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HISTORICAL SOCIETY NEWS

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  • 1 Mar 2023 2:39 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    Anglican and Episcopal History CoverAnglican and Episcopal History (AEH) considers the ministry of two deaconesses, the first five Black women ordained as Episcopal priests, and Tudor Dynasty confusion in the March 2023 issue. Readers also enjoy two church reviews and 22 book reviews.

    Two studies call attention to largely overlooked and poorly documented ministries of deaconesses.

    In the first, Joan R. Gundersen examines the life’s work of Deaconess Ruth Byllesby (1865-1959) whose ministry included the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Georgia, Michigan, Wyoming, and Vermont.

    Gundersen, former archivist in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, notes “the training deaconesses received made them pioneers in the field of social work.” Her essay is titled “In Plain Sight, and Yet Visible: The Ministry of Deaconess Ruth Byllesby”

    Readers then learn about the 37-year ministry of Deaconess Emma Britt Drant (d. 1932) in the dioceses of Southern Ohio, Hawaii, and California. Drant’s ministry included the Chinese diaspora in both Hawaii and California as well as work among victims of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.

    Retired priest John Rawlinson describes Drant as typical in being impoverished but “unique in pursuing most of her ministries without being closely supervised by a male priest.” His essay is titled “‘I… have $100 for my burial’: Deaconess Emma Britt Drant”

    Qiana M. Johnson then examines the unique gifts and experiences of the first five Black women ordained as priests in the Episcopal Church—Pauli Murray, Mary Adebonojo, Barbara C. Harris, Sandye Wilson, and Gayle Harris—describing “a common thread in the lives of these women was work around civil rights and social justice.”

    Deacon Johnson, assoc. dean of libraries at Dartmouth College, calls for further research regarding power with consideration for “what happens when authority is invested in people society has long held as being unworthy of authority, especially Black women.” Johnson’s essay is titled “Being First Two Times Over: The First Five Black Women Episcopal Priests”

    John L. Kater takes readers to England during the Tudor Dynasty. He contends far-reaching Tudor Dynasty changes in the Church of England were not a “revolution” akin to reformed churches on the European continent. Kater points to the continuation of episcopacy; little structural change to organization of parishes, dioceses, and provinces; and basic rhythm of church life as remaining intact as examples. However, he notes “the theological understanding of many of the church’s services changed”

    Kater is professor emeritus at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and assoc. professor at Ming Hua Theological College in Hong Kong, China. His essay is “Ministry and the Tudors: Change, Confusion, and Continuity.”

    AEH also features two church reviews providing glimpses of Easter services at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Bolinas, part of the Episcopal Diocese of California, and at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago.

    The March issue also includes 22 book reviews related to church history and Anglican scholarship. Among them:

    • Walking Together: Global Anglican Perspectives on Reconciliation edited by Muthuraj Swamy and Stephen Specer | Reviewed by Carla E. Roland Guzmán of General Theological Seminary
    • Royalist, Religion, and Revolution: Wales 1640-1688 by Sarah Ward Clavier | Reviewed by William Gibson of Oxford Brookes University
    • A Century of Praise: The Monastic Chapel of Saint Augustine edited by Josép Martinez-Cubero et al. | Reviewed by Matthew F. Reese of the Johns Hopkins University
    • “For the Good of Their Souls”: Performing Christianity in Eighteenth-Century Mohawk Country by William B. Hart | Reviewed by Harvey Hill of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Agawam, Mass.
    • Christianity in Central Tanzania, A Story of African Encounters and Initiatives in Ugogo and Ukaguru, 1876-1933 by Mwita Akiri | Reviewed by John Rawlinson
  • 21 Feb 2023 1:32 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    Travel reimbursement grants are available to individuals who would like to use the African American Episcopal Historical Collection (AAEHC) for research. Faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, independent researchers, and Episcopal clergy and laypersons are encouraged to apply. Funds may be used for transportation, meals, lodging, photocopying, and other research costs.

    The application deadline is April 14, 2023. Travel must occur between August 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024.

    The AAEHC is a joint project of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church and the Virginia Theological Seminary. Through documents, institutional records, oral histories, personal papers, and photographs, the collection documents the experiences of African American Episcopalians. Individual collections contain significant references to religious faith and involvement in the Episcopal Church, particularly at the regional, diocesan, and local levels.

    The following list details some of the topics that are among the collection’s strengths:

    • The Afro-Anglican conferences
    • The histories of black Episcopal parishes
    • Networking and mentorship among black clergy
    • The history of the Union of Black Episcopalians
    • The history of the Conference of Church Workers Among Colored People
    • The history of the Bishop Payne Divinity School that educated African Americans for the priesthood during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
    • The editing of the Lift Every Voice and Sing hymnal
    • The work of artist Allan Rohan Crite
    • The Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity
    • The contributions of various individuals to the Episcopal Church, such as The Rt. Rev. John Thomas Walker, The Rt. Rev. Walter Decoster Dennis, Ms. Verna Dozier, The Rev. Canon Harold T. Lewis, The Rev. Canon Thomas W. S. Logan, Sr., and Canon Diane Porter.

    For more information, visit http://www.vts.edu/aaehc.
    Download the application form here.
    Submit the application form online here

  • 6 Feb 2023 3:03 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    Grants from the Historical Society of the Episcopal ChurchThe Historical Society of the Episcopal Church invites applications for grants to be awarded July 2023. Grants are awarded for pursuing the Historical Society’s objectives, especially promotion of the preservation of the particular heritage of the Episcopal Church and its antecedents. This includes any part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Applications must be submitted by May 1st to be considered with awards announced in July.

    Applications for a regular grant may be from individuals as well as academic and ecclesiastical groups. Requests may support significant research, conferences, and publication relating to the history of the Episcopal Church as well as the worldwide Anglican Communion. A typical request may include funding for travel to visit an archives or other resource, dissertation research, seed money or support for a larger project. Examples of past awards include dissertation research, publication of books and articles, support of documentary films, and history conference support. Awards generally are $500-$2,000, depending on the number of awards approved and funds available.

    For details including application instruction and information, visit hsec.us/grants.

    Applications for the triennial Robert W. Prichard Prize for the best dissertation which considers the history of the Episcopal Church or Anglican Communion will be next requested in 2025.

  • 1 Feb 2023 3:16 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    The Episcopal Archives are located in Austin, Texas, currently housed in temporary quarters after relocating from their home of 60 years on the campus of the Seminary of the Southwest. HSEC Director of Operation Matthew P. Payne recently met with staff at the Archives to get an update.

    Interim Director

    Shortly after the 2021 move, Archivist Mark Duffy retired after decades of service. Whitney Hughes has been hired to serve as Interim Director. She joined the Archives in 2014 as the Archivist for Digital Content and Information Management. Holding a Masters of Science in Information Studies from the University of Texas, her focus has been on digital archives and the preservation of electronic records.

    Whitney continues to manage the digital archives, oversees the systems infrastructure and in-house applications, and is instrumental in the development of a digital repository. As interim director she manages the overall operations of the Archives.

    Archives Updates

    The Archives continues to support the General Convention mandates, including two particularly significant resolutions passed at the 2022 Convention, A127 (Resolution for Telling the Truth about The Episcopal Church’s History with Indigenous Boarding Schools) and D026 (Create a Task Force on LGBTQ+ Inclusion).

    The Archives is currently working on several significant digitization projects, including the Board of Mission and National Council minutes, the Spirit of Missions publication, and records of the Women’s Auxiliary and United Thank Offering. We’re particularly looking forward to offering a full run of The Spirit of Missions as a robust and searchable digital archive database in the near future.

    The Archives will be launching a public, online catalog in the coming months as yet another window into the historical records of the Church. The catalog will include descriptive records of the collections, focusing primarily on the collections that have significant historic value for researchers and will include authority records with detailed histories of the record creators.

    The Archives staff is conducting a full audit of the Diocesan Journal collection, approximately 550 cubic feet of records. This audit will help identify missing editions, address any emergent preservation issues, and better consolidate the collection to maximize shelving space. Once completed, the Archives will be reaching out to the Dioceses to request any missing diocesan journals.

    You are invited to learn more at episcopalarchives.org.

  • 4 Jan 2023 2:37 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    Since its beginnings in the 1930's, there have been book reviews. For over four decades, there have been church reviews. Now going forward, Anglican and Episcopal History will include documentary exhibit reviews and church engagement in community history. This quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, is expanding its content to better reflect the church's history.

    Reviewing documentaries and exhibits related to Episcopal Church  history might include a review of an exhibit on the Tudors at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Film reviews have been published previously, but will now be pursued more intentionally. Suggestions of documentaries or exhibits related to Anglican and Episcopal history are welcome. Perhaps you might even want to be a reviewer? Email aehbookreviews@gmail.com with ideas.

    Engaged History – Public History

    Is your institution or organization – parish, diocese, school – engaged in a project designed to investigate history for the benefit of the community? Are you engaged in studying your parish’s complicity with slavery? Are you investigating the residential schools in your diocese? Anglican and Episcopal History  would like to feature some articles on these important historical initiatives. Completed articles will be approximately the length of our current church reviews (5-8 pages). While not expected to be academic articles, submissions should be written for a professional audience and appropriately cited. If you have an interest, email aeheditor@gmail.com

  • 1 Dec 2022 12:00 AM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    Anglican and Episcopal HistoryThe December 2022 issue of Anglican and Episcopal History (AEH) considers Tudor legacies in Anglicanism with studies of Peter Martyr Vermigli, Elizabeth I, and Henry VIII. These three research essays are complemented by 2 church reviews and 20 book reviews. Readers will also enjoy reports from the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church’s 2022 annual meeting.

    In the lead study, Daniel F. Graves explores connections between Florentine reformer Vermigli (c. 1500-1562) and the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556). Vermigli was Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University in England. Graves argues the Preface to the Oxford Treatise is “a kind of apologia for the 1549 Communion rite” with specific focus on the theological concept of "mutual indwelling" during the Eucharist.

    The study is titled “Heavenly Ascent: The Relation of Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Preface to the Oxford Treatise and Disputation on the Eucharist to the Introduction of the Edwardian Prayer Books.” Its author is theologian in residence at Trinity Church, Aurora, in the Anglican Church of Canada’s Diocese of Toronto.

    Heidi Olson Campbell, a Ph.D. candidate at Baylor University in Texas, then considers the evolution of Queen Elizabeth I’s legacy.

    Campbell draws on sermons, plays, literature, and art to investigate ironic ways “…men presented women, not men, as the key players in fixing society and religion” while attempting to uphold the patriarchal system. Elizabeth I (1533-1603) was reimagined as the “exemplar of the ideal monarch” to critique the failing of her male successors.

    The final study examines the historical legacy of King Henry VIII’s will. Competing historical interpretations of Henry VIII’s (1509-1547) will took on significance as to whether the parliament ultimately controlled the royal line of succession. Christopher Petrakos reminds readers that, “Historical discourse was riven by the legal consequences of the Anglican Church’s establishment and its political and institutional consequences.”

    Petrakos is a historian of early modern and modern British history at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

    Church reviews then take readers to a Lenten service for Laetare Sunday at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Montclair, in the Episcopal Diocese of Newark and a Palm Sunday service at the Church of England’s University Church in Oxford.

    As always, AEH boasts numerous book reviews related to recent church history and Anglican scholarship. Among them:

    • Making Italy Anglican: Why the Book of Common Prayer was Translated into Italian by Stefano Villani | Reviewed by Gianluigi Gugliermetto of Christ Church, Ontario, California
    • Pauli Murray: A Personal and Political Life by Troy R. Saxby | Reviewed by Valerie Bailey
    • The Church of the Transfiguration in the City of New York by Warren C. Platt | Reviewed by R. William Franklin of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary
    • Becoming Human Again, an Oral History of the Rwandan Genocide Against the Tutsi by Donald E. Miller et al. | Reviewed by John Rawlinson
    • The 1662 Book of Common Prayer: International Edition edited by Samuel Bray and Drew Keane | Reviewed by Tanner J. Moore of Purdue University
    • The Hong Kong Protests and Political Theology edited by Kwok Pui-lan and Francis Ching-Wah Yip | Reviewed by Carla E. Roland Guzmán of General Theological Seminary
  • 23 Oct 2022 8:57 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church is pleased to announce additional digital access to its quarterly, peer-reviewed journal, Anglican and Episcopal History. One of the Historical Society’s objectives is the publication and distribution of a scholarly historical journal, which it has done since 1932. AEH includes articles on the history of the Episcopal and Anglican church, numerous book reviews and a church review section.

    Those doing historical research know there are several online repositories containing thousands of scholarly journals. Access is available at no cost through subscribing libraries and institutions or by subscription to individuals online. For years publishers delay digital release on these services by one or two years with preference made to the printed version. Over the past decade, this model is less common because society has become more accepting of digital publication and there is a desire to reduce use of natural and financial resources from paper and postage.

    The Historical Society recently removed its delay of digital release of AEH, making all issues, including those most recently published, accessible through these services: JSTOR, ATLA, EBSCO and ProQuest, all of whom are leaders in the industry. Historical Society members continue to have members-only access through the member portal of hsec.us. Members of the public may request a no-cost digital copy of any specific article by contacting the Historical Society’s Director of Operations at administration@hsec.us.
  • 6 Sep 2022 7:17 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    Dr. R. Bruce MullinThe Historical Society of the Episcopal Church is grateful for the service of Bruce Mullin, Historiographer of The Episcopal Church, who retired from this role on June 20, 2022, after serving as Historiographer since 2012. Dr. Mullin’s ten-year term of service included his important historical research in support of The Episcopal Church maintaining its properties during the years of schism that began at the turn of the present century, and due in no small part to his meticulous historical documentation, many parishes were able to keep their church buildings and property after extensive legal proceedings. The three Episcopal historical organizations made a joint statement to General Convention regarding Resolution A-154, which concerns the process for selecting a new Historiographer. The Historical Society welcomes Mr. Lee Little as the Assistant Historiographer of The Episcopal Church.

  • 6 Sep 2022 7:14 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    Mark DuffyThe Historical Society of the Episcopal Church gives thanks to God for the work and ministry of Mark Duffy, canonical archivist and director of the Archives of The Episcopal Church, who retired on March 31, 2022, after thirty years of service. As archivist, he and the Archives Board have provided essential leadership in the collection, management, and maintenance of the archival holdings of The Episcopal Church. The Archives of The Episcopal Church contains materials across multiple media formats, from papers and documents - including correspondence, diaries, periodicals, and journals - to personal effects, ephemera, and such objects as photographs, paintings, and film. Under Mark Duffy's direction, the Archives successfully moved to a new location in 2021. We are grateful for his service, and we wish him a happy retirement.

  • 1 Sep 2022 12:00 AM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    Anglican and Episcopal HistoryThe autumn issue of Anglican and Episcopal History considers 3 vastly different influences in the Anglican tradition: the Black freedom struggle, French Huguenots, and King Charles II’s Royal Society.

    “The Episcopal Church was born in a racialized context visible to the Black population of the early republic,” writes D.A. Dunkley. He invites readers to recontextualize celebrated priest Absalom Jones within the Black freedom struggle and culture of Black enslaved people to understand better the influences on Jones’ leadership and ministry shaping the Episcopal Church and becoming its first Black American priest in 1802.

    The study is titled, “Black Radicalism in the Episcopal Church: Absalom Jones and Slave Resistance, 1746-1818.” Dunkley is associate professor of history and chair of Black Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

    Lonnie H. Lee’s “Huguenot-Anglicans in Seventeenth Century Virginia” then draws on county court records to show ways the “Anglican Church played a more pivotal role in the Huguenot migration to America than historians have previously understood.” Lee, a retired Presbyterian minister, discovers a hidden Rappahannock Refuge for Huguenot Christians.

    In the final essay, William Brown Patterson examines the Royal Society formed under King Charles II. “Religionists of a broad range of backgrounds were attracted to and welcomed by the membership in the years that followed [its founding in 1663]” and that “Faith and reason were thus joined in a cultural revolution in the early years of the [monarchy’s] Restoration.”

    The essay is titled, “Religion and the Royal Society in Early Restoration England.” Patterson is professor of history emeritus at Sewanee: The University of the South.

    Readers are also treated to 3 church reviews.

    Church review editor J. Barrington Bates highlights a rare service presided over by 3 women bishops at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, part of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Diocese of New Westminster.

    Other church reviews include Ash Wednesday at St. Edward the Confessor in Lugano, Switzerland, and the Easter Triduum at St. Margaret’s Anglican-Episcopal Church in Budapest, Hungary. Both churches are part of the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe.

    As always, AEH boasts numerous book reviews related to recent church history and Anglican scholarship. Among them:

    • Justifying Revolution: The American Clergy’s Argument for Political Resistance, 1750–1776 by Gary L. Steward | reviewed by Suzanne Geissler of William Paterson University
    • The Dissolution of the Monasteries: A New History by James G. Clark | Reviewed by Norman Jones of Utah State University
    • Mystic Moderns: Agency and Enchantment in Evelyn Underhill, May Sinclair, and Mary Webb by James H. Thrall | Reviewed by Molly James of the Episcopal Church Center
    • Reclaiming the Lives of Britain’s First Mission to West Africa: Three Lives Lost and Found by Fiona Leach | Reviewed by Kyle Welty of University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    • Faith and Foreign Policy in the American Century by Mark Thomas Edwards | Reviewed by Justus D. Doenecke of New College of Florida

    About Anglican and Episcopal History

    Anglican and Episcopal History (ISSN 0896-8039), formerly The Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, seeks to raise the level of discussion, provide a forum for exchange of ideas, and review books of real worth and of interest to educated Anglicans. It is published quarterly in March, June, September, and December. Full text articles are available through JSTOR.org and for members of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church at https://hsec.us/AEH.

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