Modern Believing

Book Reviews

Modern Believing (2018), 59, (2), 149–197.


BOOK REVIEWS M. D. Chapman, S. Clarke and M. W. Percy, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Anglican Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. xiv, 657. Hb. £95. ISBN 978-0-19-921856-1. This substantial volume marks a step in the maturing sub-discipline that may be termed Anglican studies. In generally authoritative chapters, the editors have provided a substantial contribution that is both a useful reference mark of where the field stands, and also suggestive of areas for future research and investigation. As such, it is very much a welcome contribution to literature on the study of the Anglican Communion, and Christianity more widely. The book is divided into seven parts and forty-four chapters. Almost inevitably, given the number of contributors and range of issues, there is some inconsistency in quality. Some chapters are too broad in scope, others too narrow, and some have a particular agenda of the author or tradition that they represent. Nevertheless, the vast majority are entirely solid works. Part 1 covers ‘Historiography’ in six chapters, and takes a range of snapshots of particular times and themes. These include ‘Varieties of Missionary Bishops’ and ‘The Reformation in Anglicanism’, both of which are very good. Indeed, in the latter, I particularly enjoyed Alec Ryrie’s description of the ‘slow-cooking Anglican stew’ (p. 41). Part 2 addresses ‘The Methods and Styles of Anglicanism’, taking in such themes as the Church fathers, spirituality and aesthetics. The last of these six chapters, by Marion Grau, is entitled ‘Considering Hermeneutics, Method, and Cultural Diversity in Anglican Episcopal Contexts’, and is particularly worthwhile and important reading. Part 3 addresses ‘The Contextualization of Anglicanism’ in seven chapters, and gives a good sense of chosen geographical parts of the communion from Sri Lanka to Australia, and the Sudan to Hong Kong. Part 4 is on ‘Anglican Identities’ and raises important issues in five chapters. These include general issues such as Modern Believing 59.2 2018

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