The spring 2021 issue of Anglican and Episcopal History (AEH) considers approaches by Anglican Communion clerics responding to racist policies in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and at the University of the South, Sewanee. These two research essays are complemented by 3 church reviews and 25 book reviews.
In “The Brightness of Dying: Arthur Shearly Cripps as Poet and Priest,” Deanna Briody investigates one missionary’s work among the Mashona people in Southern Rhodesia. She examines the English-born Cripps’ (1869-1952) prolific writing focused on Christology as “the central and driving force of his life” to conclude that his “theology of God as self-emptying sufferer… informed his poetic vision.” Briody considers Cripps’ hatred of racism as motivating his advocacy of territorial segregation in An Africa for Africans (1927). The irony of advocating racial segregation as a practical way to protect Mashona land from European encroachment adds complexity to historical debates.
Briody is graduate writing tutor at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa. She attends Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Pittsburgh.
The Rev. Brandt L. Montgomery, chaplain of St. James School near Hagerstown in the Diocese of Maryland, then considers the sixth Bishop of Alabama’s actions during the 1952-53 integration debate at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.
In “Charles Colcock Jones Carpenter and the Sewanee Integration Controversy,” Montgomery argues that the Sewanee debate “…was a turning point for Carpenter on the issue of race” which moved him “toward a gradualist integration philosophy” designed to combat fears of “social chaos.” A decade later, Bishop Carpenter (1899-1969) became lead signatory to the 1963 “Statement by Alabama Clergymen” that was rebuked by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his iconic “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Montgomery concludes that Carpenter’s gradualist approach put him on “the negative side of civil rights history.”
In addition to these two studies, church review editor J. Barrington Bates offers his third reflection on approaches to worship in Episcopal churches during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a detailed account of the Anglo-Catholic St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, part of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. A second church review invites readers to learn about a pre-pandemic Sunday Mass at Old St. Paul’s in Edinburgh, part of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and a final piece considers the three mainline Protestant chapels of Berry College, an institution founded by educational pioneer and Episcopalian Martha Berry (1865-1942), in Rome, Georgia.
These articles along with a wide range of book reviews related to current scholarship are available immediately to members of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church. Articles are later indexed on JSTOR.org and other online platforms.
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