Current debates over a host of issues, particularly those relating to homosexuality, have left the 70-million-member Anglican Communion straining to understand what it means to be a communion-- and even wondering whether life as a communion is possible.
In this timely book two priest-scholars, Ephraim Radner and Philip Turner, examine the future of the concept of "communion" as a viable church structure, tracing its historical development as a self-conscious Anglican third way between Protestant congregationalism and Catholic centralism. In examining this essential issue, Radner and Turner relate the specific challenges of the U.S. Episcopal Church to the unity of the worldwide communion, touching on such divisive subjects as the place of Scripture, liberal theology, and episcopal authority. Their discussion is at once measured and impassioned, erudite and practical.
Compelling reading for Episcopalians and those in other traditions who are searching for a truly Christian approach to these thorny topics, The Fate of Communion is a forthright, direct examination of a church in turmoil.
Even if you have no interest in the Episcopal Church of America or Anglicanism; even if you have no interest in Christianity; even if you have no interest in the disputes surrounding homosexuality in our culture at large; you should benefit from this book...Radner and Turner have written an extremely intelligent love letter to the church.
This book is both powerful and illuminating, both passionate and scholarly. No better study exists of the pros and cons regarding whether the worldwide Anglican Communion will hold together in the present crisis. Unlike many collaborative works, The Fate of Communion is lucid and readable. As a non-Anglican, I can testify to its importance for all those concerned about the future of communion not only in a global church, as the subtitle carefully states, but also in the church universal.
A timely, sober, and intelligent account of Anglicanisms travails, equally matched by a bold call to holiness of life in communion and in conciliar forbearance in Christ. In the end this is a hopeful book about Gods vocation for Anglican Christianity, that is, for a communion which finds its calling in obedience, mutual submission, and missionary service. In its trenchant analysis of American culture, The Fate of Communion is much more than a book for Anglicans alone.
University of St. Andrews
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