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.
An important leader of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church has been recognized by the National Council of Churches (NCC) for outstanding service and leadership. This recognition took place in October at the NCC’s annual Christian Unity Gathering, in Hampton, Virginia.
The Gwynne Guibord Award for Excellence in Interreligious Leadership was given to the Rev. Dr. Alfred Moss, Jr., an Episcopal priest and an emeritus professor, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park. He earned his B.A., with honors, at Lake Forest College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa; his M.Div. at The Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and, his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. He has also served the church in several capacities, including as associate minister, Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, Lake Forest, Illinois; Episcopal chaplain, University of Chicago; associate minister, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, Virginia, where he lives. Currently, he is affiliated with The Falls Church Episcopal Church, Falls Church, Virginia.
Author of numerous articles on the history of African Americans and race relations in the English-speaking world, he is also the author of The American Negro Academy: Voice of the Talented Tenth; co-editor with Eric Anderson of The Facts of Reconstruction; co-author with Eric Anderson of Dangerous Donations: Northern Philanthropy and Southern Black Education; and co-author with John Hope Franklin of three editions of From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans. He has been a trustee of the Washington D.C. Theological Consortium; is a former vice-president of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church; is a member of the editorial board of Washington History, journal of the Historical Society of Washington D.C.; is a member of the Scholars Advisory Committee of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture; and is a senior fellow of the Ford Foundation. As priest, scholar, and teacher he represents the Episcopal Church on numerous ecumenical and interfaith bodies, including the African American Episcopal Historical Collection, a joint venture of HSEC and Virginia Theological Seminary.
The Rev. Dr. Moss has served the National Council of Churches with distinction as a member of the Convening Table on Interreligious Relations and Collaboration, and chair of its small group on theology, as well as a participant in the National Jewish-Christian Dialogue and National Muslim-Christian Dialogue.
The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church is pleased to announce the awarding of the Robert W. Prichard Prize to Peter W. Walker for his dissertation entitled, “The Church Militant: The American Loyalist Clergy and the Making of the British Counterrevolution, 1701-92.” The dissertation was submitted in 2016 for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University. The project was awarded an ACLS-Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship for 2015-16 and was supported by the Massachusetts Historical Society, the American Philosophical Society, the Lewis Walpole Library, and the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church. Dr. Walker is Visiting Assistant Professor in History at the University of Wyoming and is currently converting the dissertation into book form.
The Prichard Prize recognizes the best Ph.D., Th.D., or D.Phil. dissertation which considers the history of the Episcopal Church (including the British colonies that became the United States) as well as the Anglican church in the worldwide Anglican Communion. It is named to honor the Rev. Dr. Robert W. Prichard, longtime board member and president of the Society, noted historian and author in the discipline. The dissertation need not focus solely or even principally on the history of the Episcopal Church or Anglicanism. The selection committee welcomes dissertations which place that history in conjunction with other strands of church history, or even place it in dialogue with non-ecclesial themes of American history. The Episcopal or Anglican element of the work should be a constitutive, not peripheral, part of the dissertation.
Applications received were reviewed by a selection committee, with recipients determined by the Board of Directors at their meeting in June at Trinity College, Toronto. The Rev. Dr Lauren Winner, convener of the Prize, announced the recipient.
For over a century HSEC has been an association dedicated to preserving and disseminating information about the history of the Episcopal Church. Founded in Philadelphia in 1910 as the Church Historical Society, its members include scholars, writers, teachers, ministers (lay and ordained) and many others who have an interest in the objectives and activities of the Historical Society.
Additional details may be found at hsec.us/grants.
The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church is pleased to announce its 2019 grant awards. 11 recipients receive grants to support scholars in significant research and publications 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 academic journal of the Society.
Applications received were reviewed by a committee, with recipients determined by the Board of Directors at their meeting in June at Trinity College, Toronto. $13,000 in grants were awarded. The Rev. Dr. Robert Tobin, Chair of the Grants Committee, announced recipients from applications received.
Additional granting details may be found at hsec.us/grants.
Susan Ann Johnson, former HSEC Director of Operations, died July 4, 2019. She was 73. She was very active in the Episcopal Women’s History Project and was the former Archivist for the Diocese of Southwest Texas. She was the facilitator of the 2013 Tri-History Conference in San Antonio. The following article was published in the recent Timelines newsletter of the Episcopal Women's History Project.
Susan Ann Johnson majored in English, History and Philosophy when she graduated from college in the late 90’s. Going to college before that was just a dream for her, but in her studies, she studied the things she wanted to master, and she did it.
When Susan first attended school, her father, who was in the service, was stationed in France, and Susan’s native language for the first years of life was French. Her family returned to Texas and Susan was middle school age. She didn’t know English, she was in fluent French, and the school system couldn’t know what to do with Susan.
She eventually landed in the 5th grade, and from there she began being an American kid.
For Susan, the Episcopal Church offered everything she loved—the services were in English, the Episcopal Church was full of history, and the theology fed her love for Philosophy. Susan was born in Del Rio, Texas, but most of her adult life she lived in Harlingen, Texas. As a member of St. Alban's Episcopal Church, a parish that has been active in that community for more than 100 years, Susan was a member of the Episcopal Church Women in her parish. She attended her first Women’s Gathering at Camp Capers. That experience helped her find a calling in service through the work of the women, and soon she became active in the ECW of the Diocese of West Texas.
Susan desired to grow spiritually and to give more through that growth. She made a retreat to the Order of Julian of Norwich in Wisconsin. She embraced the love and the goals of St. Julian and ultimately became an Oblate in that order. She then joined the Order of The Daughters’ of the King and was active in the service of the DOK in her parish.
There were many ways to serve the Church as a woman, and Susan embraced it all. She served on the ECW Diocesan Board, then she became the Province Representative on the National ECW Board. She became an officer on that board. Then she learned about The Episcopal Women’s History Project. She became an active member of that organization and then joined the Board of that organization, where she was serving at the time of her death.
The work of the EWHP brought together to her three loves, English, History and Philosophy. She helped organize the Seneca Falls Conference in 2011 called “Making It Do, Gettng It Done.” The Seneca Falls settng was where the Suffragettes began their work.
The highlight of that event was a panel led by The Rev. Barbara Schlachter, with members of the team who were part of the famous Philadelphia Eleven.
At Seneca Falls, Susan learned of the story of Artemisia Bowden, a Black Woman from North Carolina who was recruited to Texas by Bishop Steptoe Johnson to teach Black Women at St. Phillip’s College in San Antonio in 1902. Susan decided that Artemisia Bowden belonged in the Book of Contemporary Saints.
She took on that mission. She engaged many others and began the process of acknowledging the work of Artemisia Bowden to the church. Because of the work of Susan Johnson, Bowden became a Saint at the 2015 General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
The story of Artemisia is now celebrated as a new Saint in The Great Cloud of Witnesses, the Episcopal Book acknowledging the newer Saints in the Kingdom.
Susan Ann Johnson has been a bright light in the work of the women of the Episcopal Church. She will be greatly missed by all.
Susan Ann Johnson
Servant, Well Done!
This Link will take you to Susan Johnson talking about the Artemisia Bowden project.
The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church is pleased to announce its recipient of the 2019 Nelson R. Burr Prize, Dr. Stephen L. Longenecker. Stephen is Edwin L. Turner Distinguished Professor of History at Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, VA. He earned a B.S. from Shippensburg University; M.A. from West Virginia University and Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University. Teaching Fields include American History, American Religious History, History of the South, and the American Civil War.
Dr. Longenecker is honored for his article entitled “Randolph H. McKim: Lost Cause Conservative, Episcopal Liberal,” published in the September 2018 issue (Volume 87, No. 3) of Anglican and Episcopal History. Working on a teaching campus, Longenecker noted that he mostly writes for fun.
This article is part of a larger study that compares the faith and politics of former Confederate chaplains after the Civil War. “Randolph McKim is one of those persons who makes history come alive,” Longenecker noted, “and I had easy material to work with.” His most recent book is “Gettysburg Religion: Refinement, Diversity, and Race in the Antebellum and Civil War Border North.”
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 and read Randolph H. McKim: Lost Cause Conservative, Episcopal Liberal.
The Chair of the Grants and Research Committee of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, the Rev. Dr. Robert Tobin, is pleased to announce the inaugural Robert W. Prichard Prize to be awarded in 2019. The prize is made to help meet one of the Society’s objectives: promotion of the preservation of the particular heritage of the Episcopal Church and its antecedents. To be considered, applications must be submitted no later than May 1st. The prize will be announced July and the recipient is expected to make an appropriate submission to the Society’s journal, Anglican and Episcopal History.
The Prichard Prize purpose is to recognize the best Ph.D., Th.D., or D.Phil. dissertation which has considered the history of the Episcopal Church (including 17th and 18th century British colonies that became the United States) as well as the Anglican church in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The prize is named to honor the Rev. Dr. Robert W. Prichard, a longtime board member and president of the Society and a noted historian and author in the discipline.
Applicants are invited to submit a dissertation for consideration which was successfully defended between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018. It may be submitted by the author or on the author’s behalf. The dissertation need not focus solely or even principally on the history of the Episcopal Church or Anglicanism. The selection committee welcomes dissertations which place that history in conjunction with other strands of church history, or even place it in dialogue with non-ecclesial themes of American history. The Episcopal or Anglican element of the work should be a constitutive, not peripheral, part of the dissertation. Submissions should be a full electronic version of the dissertation, complete with all scholarly apparatus. The recipient of the prize will be announced in July and receive $2000.
For details including application instruction and information, visit hsec.us/grants.
Bob Prichard received recognition in 2016 for his many years of service to the Historical Society.
Historical Society of the Episcopal Church
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