Cover image for The Episcopalians
The Episcopalians
Hein, David, 1954-
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Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger Publishers, [2004]

Physical Description:
xv, 361 pages ; 25 cm.
English and American beginnings: 1534-1662 -- Anglicanism in colonial America: 1662-1763 -- The crisis of the American Revolution: 1763-1783 -- Reorganization in a new nation: 1783-1811 -- Unity, diversity, and conflict in antebellum America: 1811-1865 -- Social and intellectual challenges: 1865-1918 -- Emergence of the modern church: 1918-1958 -- Changing times: 1958-2003 -- Biographical entries -- A chronology of the Episcopal church.
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BX5930.3 .H45 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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The story of the Episcopalians in America is the story of an influential denomination that has furnished a disproportionately large share of the American political and cultural leadership. Beginning with the denomination's roots in 16th-century England, this book offers a fresh account of the Episcopal Church's rise to prominence in America. Chronologically arranged, it follows the establishment of colonial Anglicanism in the New World, the national organization of the denomination following the Revolution, its rise during the 19th century, and the complex array of forces that affected the church in the 20th century--and continue to affect it today. The authors pay particular attention to the established leadership of the Episcopal Church, as well as to the experience of the ordinary layperson, the form and function of sacred space, developments in church parties and theology, relations with other Christian communities, and the evolving roles and status of women and minorities.

Shining a light on the lives of ordinary churchgoers and historically marginalized groups, the authors reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the Episcopal Church. While the church evolved into the denomination of the urban establishment, a politically, theologically, and socially moderate religious body that appealed to those seeking the society of their largely middle- and upper-middle-class peers, it also appealed to those whom the dominant society excluded from power: African and Hispanic Americans, women, and American Indians. The volume concludes with a chronology of important events and biographical sketches of major figures in the Episcopal Church.

Author Notes

DAVID HEIN teaches in the Religion and Philosophy Department of Hood College. He is the author of Noble Powell and the Episcopal Establishment in the Twentieth Century and the coauthor of Essays on Lincoln's Faith and Politics .

GARDINER H. SHATTUCK JR. teaches in the History Department of Andover Newton Theological School. He is the author of Episcopalians and Race: Civil War to Civil Rights and the coauthor of The Encyclopedia of American Religious History .

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Hein (religion & philosophy, Hood Coll.) and Shattuck (history, Andover Newton Theological Sch.) profile the Episcopal Church in the 11th volume in Praeger's "Denominations in America" series. Its standard format includes a historical overview, biographical portraits of denominational leaders, and a bibliographic essay. The Episcopal Church has always played a role in American life disproportionate to its size. To explain why, this work's history extends back to the introduction of Christianity into England and its transformation into the Church of England during the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. A particularly interesting section details how the Episcopalians evolved from a Colonial church with George III as its head to an autonomous branch of the Anglican Communion, with the Archbishop of Canterbury as its spiritual leader. The history ends with the 2003 Minneapolis General Convention's approval of the consecration of the openly gay Gene Robinson as bishop, followed by threats of schism from the church's conservative wing. The biographical section profiles 100 lay and ordained church leaders over a 250-year span, and the bibliographic essay includes primary sources. Recommended for libraries owning earlier volumes in the series.-Richard S. Watts, San Bernardino Cty. Lib., CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

How do you characterize a denomination that is doctrinally indifferent, liturgically lush, culturally elite, politically conservative, socially liberal, and that Thomas Merton once described as little more than an "atmosphere"? Hein (Hood College) and Shattuck (Andover Newton Theological School) have risen to the challenge with this lively, well-balanced, and readable book. Part 1 is a history, beginning with the denomination's Anglican origins in Henry VIII's divorce and tracing its American development up through its election of an openly gay bishop in 2003. The book never quite clarifies whether this influential denomination, which has furnished a disproportionately large share of American political and cultural leadership, is always actually leading or sometimes merely blowing with the wind. This question arises not only with the denomination's vanguard positions on contraception, civil rights, ordination of women and gays, but also in its perennial reluctance to address the difficult issues attendant to its Anglican origins, such as those William Cobbett addressed in his A History of the Protestant Reformation in England and Ireland (1824-27). Part 2, the largest part of the book, offers a stunning list of biographical profiles, including ones of Robert E. Lee, J.P. Morgan, George Whitefield, and many lesser-known churchmen, women leaders, and missionaries. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower-level undergraduates and above. P. E. Blosser Lenoir-Rhyne College

Table of Contents

Series Forewordp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Abbreviations for Standard Sourcesp. xiii
Part 1 The Episcopalians: A History
1 English and American Beginnings: 1534-1662p. 3
2 Anglicanism in Colonial America: 1662-1763p. 15
3 The Crisis of the American Revolution: 1763-1783p. 35
4 Reorganization in a New Nation: 1783-1811p. 51
5 Unity, Diversity, and Conflict in Antebellum America: 1811-1865p. 63
6 Social and Intellectual Challenges: 1865-1918p. 85
7 Emergence of the Modern Church: 1918-1958p. 111
8 Changing Times: 1958-2003p. 133
Part 2 A Biographical Dictionary of Leaders in the Episcopal Church
Biographical Entriesp. 163
A Chronology of the Episcopal Churchp. 327
Bibliographic Essayp. 333
Indexp. 349