Fredrica Harris Thompsett, a scholar of the English Reformation, introduces us to the role that history has played in creating and shaping the Episcopal Church as we know it today. In giving us the broad lessons of Anglican history, she explores in detail both the historian's task and Anglicanism's distinctive history, from its roots in Scripture and the English language Bible and prayerbook to its seventeenth century flowering in poetry and prose and the different forms it has assumed in the American landscape from the time of the Revolution right through to the late 20th century. Thompsett begins by discussing the relationship between history, tradition, and change, and goes on to outline ten key "touchstones" or milestones in Christian history that are of particular interest to Anglicans. Since it is the historian's task to write the "unwritten" as well as the official story of the church, chapter three is a history of ministry in the church, especially of lay ministry. Chapter four looks at three ways that Anglicans have handled conflict and controversy throughout its history, concentrating on the Elizabethan Settlement, the American Civil War, and the impact of Darwin and the new science. Chapter five discusses how theological insight can be "recycled" to shed new light on the problems of today, focusing on Anglican theology of creation and how it helps us address ecology as a spiritual crisis. Finally, chapter six focuses on how a living historical tradition affects the life and mission of the church today, and how we are a part of that history.
Fredrica Harris Thompsett offers a lively, engaging introduction to Anglican history and demonstrates its significance for the contemporary church.
Living with History is well titled. It's about life, and it's conversational—Fredrica Thompsett has some great one-liners. In this fifth volume of the New Church's Teaching Series, she has made history accessible to non-historians. . . . We can thank Professor Thompsett for reconnecting us to our rich and speckled past, a human path infused with the divine.
Christian Library Journal
Each denomination has its own history and related perspectives, and Living With History is written from a particularly Anglican slant. It should prove to be a valuable resource for Anglicans interested in the forces that have shaped the denomination, as well as reminding us that history is relevant.
The Anglican Journal
Living With History . . . is a fascinating book, not of the details of history but of how we interpret and use it, how we remember past events in order to deal with present questions.
Fredrica Harris Thompsett . . . 'looks backward in order to move forward.' Using ten touchstones of history ranging from Common Prayer to the civil rights movement, she provides context for contemporary controversies by examining ancient ones. . . . Thompsett has created a valuable primer, written in an accessible anecdotal style for those who seek to renew their knowledge of the historical church even as they shape its future.
Anglican and Episcopal History
Even longtime Episcopalians should find material in Living with History which will make them think and ask questions about their church and their faith. . . . Thompsett's book is written for the inquirer with late twentieth-century sensibilities. It begins with the author's personal views, and in its contents includes as wide a spectrum of the church as possible. It should encourage readers to continue their investigations of a variety of aspects of church history.
Part 1 Series Preface Part 2 Acknowledgements Chapter 3 Living with History Chapter 4 Ten Touchstones of History Chapter 5 The Ministry We Share Chapter 6 Living with Controversy Chapter 7 Recycling Tradition Chapter 8 New Occasions Teach New Duties Part 9 Endnotes Part 10 Resources Part 11 Questions for Discussion