Multiple studies and book reviews in the autumn 2020 issue of Anglican and Episcopal History (AEH) scrutinize legacies of racism and colonialism in churches. Two studies address changing historiography and practices influenced by decolonization.
“Historical Revision in Church: Re-examining the ‘Saint’ Edward Colston” investigates the legacy of a philanthropist, enslaver, and High Anglican who lived from 1636 to 1721. The study by Samuel J. Richards, a teacher at Shanghai American School in China, evaluates the role played by the Church of England in the development of the “cult of Colston” while describing actions at Bristol Cathedral starting in the early 2000s as “…part of a larger global pattern of historical revision and penance occurring in predominately white Christian communities coming to terms with complicity in the horrors of racism and slavery.”
Cn. Alan L. Hayes of Wycliffe College in the University of Toronto then examines “The Elusive Goal” of indigenous self-determination in the Anglican Church of Canada between 1967 and 2020. He argues “…colonial assumptions and structures have proven tenacious, and that, although Indigenous self-determination is consistent with historical patterns of Christian mission and organization, the theological, constitutional, and financial obstacles to decolonization have defied solution.” Hayes also explores models that could better promote indigenous self-determination within the Anglican Church of Canada.
In the final study, Jesse J. Lee, a doctoral candidate at Florida State University, invites readers to consider ways the Episcopal Church strived to maintain social unity amid great theological diversity and difference between Anglo-Catholics and lower-church Episcopalians in “The Contentious Conferences of 1924: A Study of the Proceedings of the Anglo-Catholic Priests’ Convention and the Thirty-Eighth Episcopal Church Congress.”
Book review editor Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook then sets the tone for a series of reviews focused primarily on studies of black identity, racism, and slavery in the Atlantic World. Kujawa-Holbrook examines Breaking White Supremacy: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Social Gospel by Gary Dorrien. Other reviews include Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World by Katherine Gerbner, The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti by Brandon R. Byrd, Leonidas Polk: Warrior Bishop of the Confederacy by Huston Horn, Surviving Slavery in the British Caribbean by Randy M. Browne, and The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America. Among other topics, reviewers consider ways museums address religious history and Christian history, practice, and theology in Asia.
In addition to these studies and book reviews, church review editor J. Barrington Bates continues a series begun in the summer issue that examines ways congregations are adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second review in the series takes readers to St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Waco, part of the Diocese of Texas.
These articles and other book reviews in the autumn issue are available to members of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church and later available via JSTOR.org and other online services.
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.
About the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church
The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church (HSEC) is an association of people and entities dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of information on the history the Episcopal Church and its antecedents. Anyone who has an interest in the objectives of HSEC is invited to visit: https://hsec.us/membership.
The Homebrewed Christianity Podcast of August 14, 2020 features the Rev. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, PhD, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church. The episode “A Christian Reading the Mishnah Avot & Weird Anglican Twitter” was sponsored by the Historical Society. In a conversation with host Tripp Fuller, Joslyn- Siemiatkoski shares his church experience, describes work a church historian and seminary professor, explores the nature of comparative theology, and discusses his recent book The More Torah, The More Light: A Christian Commentary on Mishnah Avot.
The Membership and Promotions Committee of the Historical Society has launched a number of initiatives to better fulfilling its purpose of preserving and disseminating information about the history of the Episcopal Church in the 21st century. It determined to sponsor a number of episodes on this podcast with 75,000 listeners each month and over 2 million downloads last year from over 150 countries. It has been sharing conversations between friends, theologians, philosophers, and scholars of all stripes since 2008 and boasts previous guests such as Rob Bell, N.T. Wright, Marcus Borg, Brian McLaren, Morgan Freeman, Walter Brueggemann, Phyllis Tickle, Diana Butler Bass, Richard Rohr and many other influential and emerging Christian thinkers.
Joslyn-Siemiatkoski is the Duncalf-Villavoso Professor of Church History at the Seminary of the Southwest where his teaching focuses on integrating Anglican and Episcopal identity with the broader sweep of Christian history and Jewish-Christian relations. He is author of Christian Memories of the Maccabean Martyrs and has authored chapters in various edited volumes and articles in Anglican Theological Review and Anglican and Episcopal History. He serves as an assisting priest at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin.
The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church is pleased to announce its recipient of the 2020 Nelson R. Burr Prize, Dr. Jonathan S. Lofft. He teaches the history of Christianity at Trinity College in the University of Toronto. He is a Research Fellow of Huron College at Western University, and a member of the academic faculty of Queen's College at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. A Trustee of the National Episcopal Historians and Archivists, Jonathan serves as vice-president of the Canadian Church Historical Society and of the Canadian Society for the Study of Names. His research interests include Anglican/Episcopal history and identity, hagiography, imperialism, medievalism, and critical place-name studies.
Dr. Lofft is honored for his article published in the September 2019 issue of Anglican and Episcopal History entitled "X Marks the Spot: the Cult of St. Alban the Martyr and the Hagiotoponymy of Imperial Anglicanism in Canada, 1865-1921." The prize was awarded and received during the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Historical Society.
The Burr prize honors the renowned scholar Nelson R. Burr, whose two-volume A Critical Bibliography of Religion in America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961) and other works constitute landmarks in the field of religious historiography. Each year a committee of the Society selects the author of the most outstanding article in the Society's journal, Anglican and Episcopal History, as recipient. The award also honors that which best exemplifies excellence and innovative scholarship in the field of Anglican and Episcopal history.
Download X Marks the Spot: the Cult of St. Alban the Martyr and the Hagiotoponymy of Imperial Anglicanism in Canada, 1865-1921.
The Summer 2020 issue of Anglican and Episcopal History (AEH) is available featuring research essays, church reviews, and book reviews. AEH is the peer-reviewed journal of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church (HSEC).
In the issue, the Rev. Robert B. Slocum’s lead article examines the “Faith, Freedom, and Sacrifice” of Episcopal seminarian Jonathan Daniels (1939-1965) who was murdered while advocating for Civil Rights in Alabama. This is followed by “The Making of the American Prayer Book of 1928” by Prof. Lawrence Crumb who helps “…reveal an approach to the task of revision that was both conscientious and meticulous…” possibly providing ideas for contemporary prayer book revision. The final study, “Institutionalizing Theology: A.B. Goulden and the Community of Reparation to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament”, offers an Anglo-Catholic perspective by Nashotah House professor Greg Peters.
In addition to the three studies, church review editor J. Barrington Bates introduces a series of upcoming reviews that will examine ways parishes are adapting worship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bates describes the “wide spectrum of responses in worldwide Anglicanism.” The first review of the series visits the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Canonsburg, Pa.
Book reviewers consider past and present visions for the Anglican Communion using Ellen K. Wondra’s “Questioning Authority: The Theology and Practice of the Authority in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion,” Ashley Null and John W. Yates III’s “Reformation Anglicanism, A Vision for Today’s Global Communion,” and “The Promise of Anglicanism” by Virginia Theological Seminary professors Robert Heaney and William Sachs.
Other reviews range from biographies to scholarly studies of literary fiction. William Paterson University history professor Suzanne Geissler reviews “A Christian and a Democrat: A Religious Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt” begun by longtime AEH editor-in-chief John F. Woolverton (1926-2014) and recently completed by Calvin College’s James D. Bratt while S. Scott Rohrer considers Thomas S. Kidd’s “Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father.” In the area of literary fiction, Salem State University communications professor Christopher Fauske reviews “Anglican Women Novelists from Charlotte Brontë to P.D. James” edited by Judith Maltby and Alison Shell.
These and other book reviews in the summer issue are available to members of HSEC and later available on JSTOR.org and other online services.
The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church (HSEC) is an association of people and entities dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of information on the history the Episcopal Church and its antecedents.
Founded in 1910 in Philadelphia as the Church Historical Society by a small group of clergy and laity who were determined to provide an organization and structure to focus on keeping the history of the church and share it with others. HSEC members include scholars, researchers, teachers and students, archivists, historians, professionals, and enthusiasts of history. Anyone who has an interest in the objectives of HSEC is invited to visit: https://hsec.us/membership.
The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church awarded grants to 4 recipients in 2020 to support significant research, publications and projects related to the history of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. Recipients are encouraged to publish, when appropriate, in Anglican and Episcopal History, the quarterly journal of the Historical Society. Applications for consideration were reviewed by the Grants Committee with final awards determined by the Board of Directors at their meeting in June. $13,000 was available for grants in the 2020 budget.
The Rev. Dr. Robert Tobin, Chair of the Grants Committee, announced recipients from applications received.
Additional details may be found at hsec.us/grants.
The Annual Meeting of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church was held virtually on July 29, 2020. The meeting included reports on the activities of the Historical Society over the past year and elections. There was also time allowed for members to share their thoughts and ideas for the good of the order.
The Rev. Dr. Robyn Neville chaired the meeting. She reported a concentrated effort to promote the Historical Society and increase its visibility and recognition among academic and ecclesiastical groups. There are also targeted initiatives to boost membership, especially among students, and ongoing development of creative initiatives for future sustainability. Preident Neville noted “It is not enough to keep the Historical Society running smoothly for the present; it is not enough to look back into the past by directing the bulk of our energies to uncovering the narratives that have brought the church to where it is today. We also need to be intentionally forward-thinking, so that we may respond appropriately to changing situations in order to create a necessary resource for the church to reference as it grows and adapts to uncertain times.”
Additional reports included the awarding of grants to four recipients, the status of print and digital presence of the Historical Society’s quarterly journal, Anglican and Episcopal History, the recipient of the Burr Prize for the best article in the journal, plans for seeking the next Editor of the journal, a financial report reflecting strength, and a report on the African American Episcopal Historical Collection, a joint project with the Virginia Theological Seminary.
The following officers were elected: President: the Rev. Dr. Robyn Neville; First Vice President: Dr. J. Michael Utzinger; Second Vice President: The Rev. Dr.Robert W. Prichard; Secretary: Dr. Pamela Cochran; Treasurer: Mr. George DeFillipi.
The following were elected to the Board of Directors: The Rev. Dr. Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski; The Rev. Jonathan Musser; The Very Rev. Dr. William S. Stafford.
In 2018 while a PhD candidate in History at the University of Oxford, Simon Lewis was awarded a grant by the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church towards travel to archives across the UK to pursue research on lay participation in theological controversies in England and colonial America during the first half of the 18th Century. With this support, and support from the Irish Research Council, Lewis has completed and published "Devotion and Polemic in Eighteenth-Century England: William Mason and the Literature of Lay Evangelical Anglicanism" in the Huntington Library Quarterly (Vol. 82, no. 3).
William Mason (1719–1791), an Anglican evangelical layman, published extensively on theological issues to educate the Anglican laity in the Church of England’s Reformed tradition. Despite the popularity of his writings, Mason has been neglected by scholars. Lewis provides the first large-scale examination of Mason’s works, showing that eighteenth-century Calvinist evangelicalism benefited from an active and vocal laity, whose evangelistic strategies were not limited to preaching. The articles abstract also notes Lewis provides a model for how scholars can integrate piety and polemic in their explorations of religious print culture and enhances our understanding of the laity’s engagement in theological controversies.
Lewis is currently an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at Trinity College Dublin and preparing his doctoral thesis for publication as a monograph.
Grants are available from the Historical Society of the Episcopal for the Society’s objectives, especially the promotion of the preservation of the particular heritage of the Episcopal Church and its antecedents. Find additional information at hsec.us/grants.
The Canadian Church Historical Society, supporting Canadian Anglican and Ecumenical Heritage, will host a Lenten Colloquium on Saturday, March 28, 2020 at Trinity College, 6 Hoskin Avenue, Toronto from 8:30 a.m. till 3:00 p.m. The day begins with Morning Prayer in the Trinity College Chapel. A registration fee of $10 will be collected and lunch is included.
A panel discussion will be held about the book The Lambeth Conference: Theology, History, Polity, and Purpose (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017) edited by Paul Avis and Benjamin M. Guyer. The panel features:
Following lunch, presentations will be made by:
All are welcome to attend and should RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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 Application Deadline is January 17, 2020. Travel must occur between May 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
For more information, visit vts.edu/aaehc.
Historical Society of the Episcopal Church
Dedicated to preserving and disseminating information about the history of the Episcopal Church and its antecedents.
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