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  • 12 Feb 2024 3:50 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    An online series, Archives Basics for Congregations, was offered via Zoom during Epiphany 2024. It focused on establishing and operating a church archive for non-professionals who might, or do already, work in a church archives. It is a resource for reference and continuing education.

    The five, one-hour sessions cover purpose, policies and practices, ownership, access and security, practical tips, organizing records, inventorying, processing, digital, personal papers, operations and administration. Also available for download are session outlines, slide decks, and documents referenced.

    There is no charge to view and the series is free and available to the public. All five sessions were recorded and are now available for viewing, hsec.us/archivesbasics. Please share it with others.

  • 29 Jan 2024 11:02 AM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church invites requests for grants to be awarded July 2024. Funding is provided for pursuing the Historical Society’s objectives, especially promotion of the preservation of Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion. Requests must be submitted no later than May 1st to be considered for 2024 awards.

    Requests may be from individuals, academic entities or ecclesiastical groups. They may seek financial support for research, publication, and conferences relating to Episcopal and Anglican church history. A typical request may include funding for travel (for example, to an archives or other relevant location), research materials, or seed money or support as part of a larger project. Examples of past awards include dissertation research, publication of books and articles, support of documentary films, multi-media and digital historical presentations, and support for a local history conference. Awards generally are $500-$2,500, depending on the number of requests approved and funding available.

    For details to make the request, visit hsec.us/grants.

    Please note that requests for the triennial Robert W. Prichard Prize will be next received in 2025. The Prichard Prize honors the best dissertation which considers the history of the Episcopal Church or Anglican Communion. Additional details about the prize are also found at hsec.us/grants.

  • 8 Jan 2024 11:35 AM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    The American Historical Association (AHA) is the oldest professional association of historians in the United States and the largest such organization in the world with over 11,000 members. Its annual meeting draws more than 5,000 historians from around the United States to discuss the latest research and discuss how to be better historians and teachers. Sheryl Kujawa Holbrook, editor-in-chief of HSEC's quarterly, peer-reviewed journal Anglican and Episcopal History, attended the 2024 AHA Meeting in San Francisco in January. AEH is a member of the Conference of Historical Journals which displays samples of its members journals on in the AHA Exhibit Hall. Kujawa Holbrook shared this photo of 2 recent AEH issues displayed, along with a copy of In Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood in the Episcopal Church which is a curated reprint of articles from AEH.

    The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church was an exhibitor at the 2023 AHA Annual Meeting and connected with hundreds of attendees with an interest in the history of the Episcopal Church. HSEC has applied to become an AHA Affiliated Society which will allow sponsorship of HSEC sessions and activities at the AHA Annual Meeting.

  • 12 Dec 2023 3:44 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    The winter 2023 issue of Anglican and Episcopal History is now available. In addition to 4 peer-reviewed essays, readers enjoy a variety of reviews.

    Church Reviews:

    Two church reviews take readers to worship services in the Anglican Communion. The winter issue includes highlights of a Lenten Sunday Eucharist led by the Presiding Bishop at the American Cathedral in Paris while another explores a new Maundy Thursday liturgy service used at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, part of the Scottish Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Edinburgh.

    Engaged History:

    A synopsis of a webinar series titled Past Reckoning: Exploring the Racial History of the Moravian and Episcopal Churches by Maria W.E. Tjeltveit of the Moravian-Episcopal Coordinating Committee.

    The Engaged History feature explores collaborative projects undertaken by Anglican and Episcopal institutions that confront buried historical narratives. 

    Book Reviews:

    As always, readers enjoy a treasure trove of book reviews related to church history and Anglican scholarship, including:

    Anglican and Episcopal History 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.

  • 11 Dec 2023 3:09 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    Anglican and Episcopal HistoryIn the winter issue of Anglican and Episcopal History (AEH), four scholars investigate ways historians churchmanship influenced—and in some cases still influences—various dioceses of the Anglican Communion, especially the Episcopal Church.

    Two studies examine historic evangelical influences in the Episcopal Church’s dioceses of Rhode Island and Virginia while the remaining two consider Anglo-Catholic influences in Australia’s nineteenth-century Diocese of Adelaide and the writings of “saint” Woodbine Willie in the Church of England during World War I.

    The Virginia article by Jacob M. Blosser considers the influence of New Light Anglicans, particularly the preaching ministry of the Rev. Charles Clay (1745-1820). Blosser, a professor of history at Texas Woman’s University, draws on the largest manuscript collection of preserved Virginia Anglican sermons in order to rediscover ways parishioners in rural Albemarle County responded to calls that they be “born again,” “renewed”, and “quickened.”

    Blosser questions traditional historiography that depicts colonial Virginia’s Anglicans as Latitudinarians while describing evangelical voices as outside of Virginia Anglicanism. He considers Clay to be “a bridge between the latitudinarianism of the colonial establishment and the evangelicalism of [Bishop William] Meade’s nineteenth-century Protestant Episcopal Church.”

    John Sailant, a professor of English and History at Western Michigan University, then explores the 1812 baptism of Prudence Gabriel (c. 1780s-c. 1813) in Providence, Rhode Island. Gabriel, a free Black woman, made the unusual choice to be baptized in the Episcopal Church, a denomination with noticeably fewer Black members than other Christian denominations in Providence at the time.

    Sailant connects Gabriel’s choice to the ministries of the Rev. Nathan Bourne Crocker (1780-1865) and other paternalistic, evangelicals in the diocese, especially Bishop Alexander Viets Griswold who he describes as “the little-remembered leader of evangelical Episcopalians in Rhode Island.”

    The remaining studies look beyond the United States and focus on Anglo-Catholic influences in the wider Anglican Communion.

    “The Myth of Woodbine Willie” by Timothy Larsen, professor of history and Christian Thought at Wheaton College, reexamines the ministry and theology of G.A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), who rose to popularity within the Church of England during World War I as a supporter of the war effort. Kennedy became an Army Chaplain and was well-known for his writings found in The Church in the Furnace (1917) and Lies! (1919).

    Through a detailed examination of Kennedy’s writings, Larsen challenges traditional descriptions of Kennedy as an Anglo-Catholic. He writes that “most jarring of all he [Kennedy] insisted that catholics had made the Eucharist into a false god.” Instead, Larsen contends “Woodbine Willie” is best described as a Christian apologist whose churchmanship was “liberal Anglo-Catholic” or “high church modernist.”

    A final study examines the churchmanship and eucharistic theology of Australian colonial bishop Augustus Short (1802-1883) who led the Diocese of Adelaide from 1847 to 1882.

    In “Augustus Short’s Apologia for Newman’s Tract 90,” Brian Douglass examines ways Bishop Short’s Oxford Movement-influenced eucharistic theology faced opposition from evangelical clergy and laity when he arrived in Adelaide. However, Short’s episcopal ministry in Adelaide slowly shifted the diocese from an evangelical churchmanship to an Anglo-Catholic one.

    Douglass, an Anglican priest, research professor at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, and editor of the Journal for Anglican Studies, concludes that, “Short’s contribution of catholic eucharistic theology remains firmly established in the present-day Anglican Diocese of Adelaide, Australia and represents part of his continuing legacy.”

    These studies along with church reviews, book reviews, reflections on engaged history, and minutes for the annual meeting of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church are available in the winter 2023 issue of Anglican and Episcopal History.

  • 25 Oct 2023 4:15 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    A Conference to Mark the 60th Anniversary of the 1963 Toronto Anglican Congress is planned for the 12th and 13th of April 2024. Initiated by the Canadian Church Historical Society and co-sponsored by the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, the conference will be held in Toronto with in-person and online participation. Additional details will be available soon. Other organizations interested in sponsoring the Conference should write to Laurel Parson lparson@national.anglican.ca.

    The 1963 Toronto Anglican Congress was attended by about 1,000 archbishops, bishops, priests, deacons, and laity from virtually all the dioceses of the Anglican Communion. It approved a Manifesto, “Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence [MRI] in the Body of Christ,” which proposed a radical examination of inequalities across the Communion. The purpose of the 2024 conference is to examine the legacy of the 1963 Toronto Congress. 

    The keynote speaker will be Canon Professor Mark D. Chapman, Professor of the History of Modern Theology, University of Oxford. This conference, with its emphasis on mutual responsibility and interdependence, could make an important contribution to planning a the next Anglican Congress. A Thanksgiving Service will take place on Sunday 14  April.

    Call for Papers: Papers of twenty minutes (approx. 2,500 words) are invited on any theme related to the 1963 Congress (historical, missiological, theological, international, and local significance) with abstracts due by December 15, 2023.

    Read more here

  • 24 Oct 2023 12:33 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    Book Cover  Order Now       Download Flyer

    The ordination of eleven Episcopal women to the priesthood on July 29, 1974, at Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia, has transformed the face of Episcopal clergy. We are reminded that all of God’s children are called and empowered by the Holy Spirit to serve in every capacity. To honor the celebration of the 50th Anniversary, the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church (HSEC) and the Episcopal Women’s History Project (EWHP) have collaborated on the publication: “In Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood in the Episcopal Church.” Articles were originally published in the Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church and its successor, Anglican and Episcopal History (AEH).

    EWHP LogoThe ordination of The Philadelphia Eleven was followed by the ordination of the Washington Four which is also addressed in this collection. Other articles address women inclined to holiness, the religious role of women in the 18th century, Anglican clergy wives, the Woman’s Auxiliary, 19th century Episcopal Sunday School, and education of Black women plus more.  These articles give the background and context for why the logical next step was the ordination of women beyond the diaconate.  These articles preserve the story that reminds us that the proper place of women is in all orders and roles of the Church.

    HSEC ShieldTime passes and memories fade, but this anniversary calls us to acknowledge the courage of women called and ordained to holy orders of the priesthood.  They paved the way for the church’s many women priests and bishops, something that is not unusual today.

    These fifteen articles found in this 178-page volume help us keep this history alive and reflect on the actions of the past. Article authors, listed in order, include Sheryl-Kujawa-Holbrook, Barbara C. Harris, John F. Woolverton, Fredrica Harris Thompsett, Joan R. Gundersen, Anne Llewellyn Barstow, Joanna B. Gillespie, Mary Sudman Donovan, Arthur Ben Chitty, by Heather Huyck, Qiana Johnson, Susan D. Buell, and Catherine M. Prelinger. The volume was curated by Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook, Editor-in-Chief of AEH, the cover was designed by Robin Sumners of EWHP, and the production was managed by Matthew Payne of HSEC.

    Copies of this soft cover volume may be ordered online at hsec.us/honor50 for $10.00 plus shipping. Bulk orders and discount inquiries may be made to the Historical Society Director of Operation, Matthew P. Payne at administration@hsec.us.

    The hope of the authors and publisher is this collection will inspire and educate the people of Church — women and girls, men and boys — about the work of the Holy Spirit through her people.


  • 1 Sep 2023 2:14 PM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    Anglican and Episcopal History (AEH) focuses on race, slavery, and ministry in three regions in its September issues. Scholars examine Anglican ministries in the context of Britain’s sugar colonies, Rhode Island, and the U.S. South. Readers also enjoy reviews of a film, exhibit, and 22 scholarly books.

    The lead study, “Anglican Ministry Amongst Britain’s Caribbean Slaves,” by Stephen J.S. Smith examines the Church of England’s ministry in Britain’s slave-based sugar colonies throughout the long eighteenth century using case studies of clergymen James Ramsay (1733-1789), George Wilson Bridges (1788-1863), and William M. Harte (1776-1851).

    Smith writes that, “For better, or for worse, the Church of England’s presence in Britain’s Caribbean slave colonies provided a framework for contrasting Anglican clergy voices… to throw light on the reality of established church ministry in Britain’s slave colonies. The value of these voices is immense.”

    Smith is an Episcopal priest and retired research scholar in church history at SUNY Buffalo.

    The second study is “Christ Church, Providence, 1839-1851: An African American Parish in Antebellum Rhode Island” by John D. Alexander, a retired Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Rhode Island.

    Alexander writes that “Christ Church’s story affords a fascinating glimpse into antebellum New England’s social and religious history, as well as into the dilemmas confronting African Americans in the wider Episcopal Church.”

    A final study related to race compares and contrasts ways three white Episcopal priests in the Antebellum South approached ministry among newly freed people following the U.S. Civil War. “The lives and ministries of Peter Fayssoux Stevens, A. Toomer Porter, and William Porcher DuBose illustrate the range of choices facing white ministers in the postwar church,” according to authors J. Michael Martinez and the late Loren B. Mead.

    Martinez currently teaches political science at Kennesaw State University. Mead was an Episcopal priest and founder of the Alban Institute at Duke Divinity School. He passed away in 2018.

    A final study offers a different theme focusing on women in West Africa. Sade Oluwakemi Ayendi, a field researcher for Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique, examines ways Anglican women in Nigeria “occupy significant position” and “have broken through traditional prejudices” in the Anglican Church of Nigeria’s Diocese of Akoko.

    Ayendi’s study is titled, “Women in the Nigerian Church: A Study of the Akoko Anglican Diocese,” was partially funded by a grant from the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church.

    AEH also features two church reviews providing glimpses of worship at St. John’s Episcopal Church in the Scottish Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Edinburgh and at St. James’ Anglican Church, Vancouver, part of the Diocese of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada.

    The September issue includes movie, exhibit, and book reviews related to church history and Anglican scholarship. Among them:

    • Ecumenical Encounters with Desmond Mpilo Tutu: Vision for Justice, Dignity, and Peace edited by Sarojini Nadar et al | Reviewed by Kefas Lamak, University of Iowa
    • Envoys of Abolition: British Naval Officers and the Campaign Against the Slave Trade in West Africa by Mary Wills | Reviewed by Suzanne Geissler, William Paterson University
    • Peter Akinola: Who Blinks First? Biblical Fidelity Against the Gay Agenda in the Global Anglican Communion by Gbenga Gbesen | Reviewed by John Rawlinson, Church Divinity School of the Pacific
    • The Shape of Anglican Theology: Faith Seeking Wisdom by Scott MacDougall | Reviewed by Mark D. Chapman, University of Oxford
    • Making Evangelical History: Faith, Scholarship and the Evangelical Past edited by Andrew Atherstone and David Ceri Jones | Reviewed by Christopher Corbin
  • 1 Aug 2023 10:26 AM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    And Moses said to the people, ‘Remember this day, on which you went free from Egypt, the house of bondage, how the Lord freed you from it with a mighty hand…. Exodus 13:3 (JPS)

    The people…they got lost. They don’t even know the story of how they got from tit to tat…The people need to know the story.  See how they fit into it.  See what part they play.”  Stool Pigeon, Prologue, King Hedley II, 1999.

    On October 11, 2023, as the Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) commemorates its Bicentenary, the African American Episcopal Historical Collection (AAEHC) will celebrate its 20th Year, with keynote speakers and symposia that focus on the importance of knowing the challenging and complex history of Blacks in the Episcopal Church.  The AAEHC will stop and Remember this major journey to Freedom and the part African Americans played in it. 

    The AAEHC, along with the Archives of the Episcopal Church. is the primary repository for records that document the history of Black Episcopalians, and it is the principal archival resource for scholars and researchers interested in the history of African American Episcopalians. Inspired and reinvigorated by the Scriptural exhortations to “Remember,” we will feed those memories only through which can we truly know who we are, and how redemption of a people and racial reconciliation in the Church were (and are to be) paid for. August Wilson’s Stool Pigeon is right: know and tell how we got from tit to tat. Bear Witness.

    The keynote address in the morning will be delivered by Julieanna Richardson, the founder and director of The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive oral history archive -- now fully accessioned by and housed in the Library of Congress.  Richardson’s HistoryMakers sets the gold standard for collecting oral histories and the AAEHC emulates its techniques and much its archival policies and objectives. The evening address will be delivered by the Rt. Rev. Gail Harris, assisting bishop for the Diocese of Virginia.  In between there will be presenters who will share their wisdom and experience in having achieved, and who are working still to achieve, success in their historical research on Black Episcopalians.

    African American Episcopalians comprise a fairly small percentage of communicants in the Episcopal Church.  The influence of that relatively few, including bishops Dillard Brown, Walter Decoster Dennis, and Arthur Williams, along with canon Thomas W. Logan, Sr., scholar Harold Lewis, and lay theologian Verna Dozier, is disproportionate to the enormity of their efforts to make the Church more inclusive.  Records of their lives, along with many more, are housed in the AAEHC, where they will be held in perpetuity and fully accessible to researchers.

    The AAEHC had its beginnings in the 1990s when a group of historians from the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church (HSEC) set out with special effort and intention to document the history of African Americans in the Episcopal Church. In 2003 the HSEC and the Bishop Payne Library of the Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) agreed on a plan that would set the archival effort on solid footing at VTS.  The AAEHC is governed by a Steering Committee, the leaders, and members of which are shared equally between the Bishop Payne Library and the HSEC.  Over the first two decades of its existence the AAEHC has ably expanded the scope of the library’s mission to tell the Bishop Payne Divinity School (BPDS) story and to document the history of African American Episcopalians for research and for the education of the Church at-large.

    Now, twenty-years after the partnership began the collection continues to grow -- a recognition of its central place both as a repository of records, but also as an essential source for research and study. Its oral history collection is expanding greatly and because of ZOOM technology the most recent recorded sessions are now fully accessible online in video format.  Scholars visit the AAEHC regularly, seeking both institutional and personal papers.  Furthermore, over the course of its life, the AAEHC has awarded travel grants to over 20 scholars.  Their research has generated books, journal articles, dissertations, and online resources. This year, as part of that total (and after a COVID pandemic hiatus), five grants were awarded. We have selected a few whose research will be discussed on October Anniversary Day.

    The AAEHC has also been enriched greatly by unexpected and most welcome inquiries and donations of records from parish churches -- primarily white majority congregations -- that have begun to unearth their race histories.  Most of the stories are from the South (but by no means exclusively so) and begin in the pre-Civil War years when the enslaved worshipped in the same church as the persons who enslaved them.  Freedom and Reconstruction had in most cases existential and fundamental effects on the continued lives and racial identities of the parishes -- most of which quickly evolved to become racially segregated.  Often the result was the establishment of Black Episcopal parishes throughout the nation. And in most cases the segregation that meant the absence of Black worshippers in white spaces, remained unexamined until recently.  The salutary result is that much of this individual parish research and archival work has become essential to understanding and reaching for what the church needs in seeking the all-elusive racial reckoning and reconciliation.  Several of these parish historians will be present on our October Anniversary Day to share the results of their research and the accompanying myriad challenges.

    To learn more about attending the celebration on October 11, contact the AAEHC staff at askaaehc@vts.edu

  • 31 Jul 2023 10:36 AM | HSEC Director of Operations (Administrator)

    The proposed volume will consist of a series of essays, each by an individual scholar or a small (not more than three) number of co-authors, focusing on a particular geographic region or island / country.

    While each essay will have its own focus, the volume as a whole will need to approach Anglican Studies as an interdisciplinary field, including Anglican history, theology, liturgy, preaching, postcolonial studies, ecclesiology, spirituality, literature, missiology, ethics/moral theology, ministry, pastoral care, ecumenism, and interreligious studies. Not all of these areas need be considered in a single essay. Rather, authors are encouraged to select particular aspects of the whole that best suit the specific focus of their proposal. But in all cases some consideration must be given to the history of the Church of England / Anglican Church in the locale under discussion, whether as a distinct section or as a framing device. Essays that also consider the current position of that locale’s Anglican Church within a broader contemporary framework are most welcome.

    The editor is interested in essays that consider Barbados and Jamaica, specifically, each as a single subject. Other essays might consider individual islands or groupings.

    Essays on the Church of England / Anglican Church in the Spanish, French, and Dutch Caribbean are also welcome.

    Please submit proposals of no more than 500 words and, if possible, provide a tentative title and a two- to three-sentence summary of the proposed work. The title and summary need not be part of the 500-word count. A target word count for the finished essay would also be appreciated.

    Graduate students and recent graduates are particularly encouraged to submit a proposal. Authors working in, or with strong ties to, the place of their topic are also encouraged and should make note of their connections in the email accompanying the submission.

    If a proposal can be developed for the interested publisher, style guides, deadlines, etc. will be disseminated at that stage.

    Please submit a proposal to Chris Fauske via cfauske@salemstate.edu. Plain text or a Word attachment / link are both acceptable.

    The deadline for submission of a proposal is 30 November 2023.

    If you know someone who might be interested in this project, please share this CFP with them.

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Historical Society of the Episcopal Church

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