Bibliography on Anglicanism


  • John W. Howe & Sam C. Pascoe, Our Anglican Heritage (Wipf & Stock). What is Anglicanism and how is it distinctive? Where did it come from and where is it? Which beliefs, values, and practices stand at the heart of this important, global Communion? How can its rich heritage help it move into the future? This book is an essential guide to the Anglican tradition for anyone who has ever wondered what Anglicanism-the largest Protestant denomination in the world-is all about. Now fully updated and significantly revised, this second edition of Our Anglican Heritage gives voice to the strong and vibrant evangelical roots of Anglican Christianity.
  • Mark Chapman, Anglicanism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford). What is Anglicanism? How is it different from other forms of Christianity, and how did it come to have so many different versions throughout the world? Although originally united by location and a common belief, Anglicanism has gradually lost its pre-eminence as the English state church due to increasing pluralisation and secularization. While there are distinctive themes and emphases that emerge from its early history and theology, there is little sense of unity in Anglicanism today. Here, Mark Chapman explores the fascinating history, theology, and structures of Anglicanism, and highlights the diversity of the contemporary church by examining how traditions vary from England and American, from South Africa to Malaysia. Chapman looks at current developments and controversies, such as homosexuality and women priests, and offers thought-provoking suggestions for the future of Anglicanism. Putting the history and development of the religion into context, Chapman reveals what it is that holds Anglicanism together despite the recent crises that threaten to tear it apart.
  • Stephen Sykes, John Booty, and Jonathan Knight (editors), The Study of Anglicanism (Augsburg Fortress). In this authoritative volume, thirty-one of the world’s leading Anglican scholars present the first sustained and thorough account of the history and ethos of the Churches of the Anglican Communion from the Anglican reform of the sixteenth century to its global witness today. Thoroughly revised, augmented, and updated, this new edition of The Study of Anglicanism offers a comprehensive interpretation of the character of Anglicanism-including its history, theology, worship, standards and practices, and its future prospects worldwide. A fascinating and unique work, it remains the one indispensable key to this rich and pluriform heritage for both the general reader and the student.
  • Paul Avis, The Identity of Anglicanism: Essentials of Anglican Ecclesiology (T&T Clark). Anglicanism can be wonderful, mystifying and infuriating. For some it is an expression of the Church catholic, going back to the early Church and the apostles. For others it is a pragmatic compromise dating from Henry VIII’s dynastic ambitions. Some see Anglicanism today as self-destructing, torn apart by internal pressures. Paul Avis expounds an Anglicanism that is both catholic and reformed and open to fresh insight. On this interpretation, what is distinctive about Anglicanism is its understanding of the Church and of authority. These issues are addressed in relation to the origins of Anglican ecclesiology, the diversity and coherence of the worldwide Anglican Communion, its understanding of baptism and the Eucharist, the question of women priests and bishops, its ecumenical engagement and the internal conflicts of the early twenty-first century. This is a authoritive and passionate vindication of classical Anglicanism, evolving to respond to contemporary challenges.
  • Michael Ramsey, The Anglican Spirit (Seabury). Archbishop Michael Ramsey was one of the church’s most remarkable twentieth-century saints – wise and humble, humorous and compassionate. These introductory lectures on Anglicanism reveal the breadth of Ramsey’s theological understanding, his ecumenism, and his vision of the church and the Christian life. Informal and conversational in style, the lectures offer an overview of Anglican theology, spirituality, and history. Ramsey begins with Anglicanism’s enduring characteristics, including its dependence on Scripture, tradition – the ancient writers of the church who guide us in interpreting the Bible – and reason, our God-given capacity for divine revelation. Next Ramsey explores its teachings on theology and the sacraments, Tractarianism and the Oxford Movement, the renaissance of Anglican religious communities, and the evolving doctrines of creation, incarnation, and the Holy Spirit. The final section presents Ramsey’s theology of the church and Anglicanism’s relationship to Rome and the Orthodox churches.
  • Rowan Williams, Anglican Identities (Cowley). Is there an “Anglican identity”? Or is living with the tension between different temperaments and histories itself at the heart of the genius of Anglicanism? Anglican Identities draws together studies and profiles by Rowan Williams that sympathetically explore approaches to scripture, tradition, and authority that are very different—yet at the same time distinctively Anglican. William Tyndale, Richard Hooker, George Herbert, B. F. Westcott, Michael Ramsey, and John A. T. Robinson are among the writers and theologians whose work Archbishop Williams explores. Williams resists easy characterizations and makes surprising connections between apparently opposing positions. In his study of the Victorian biblical scholar B. F. Westcott, for example, he suggests that “we might begin to identify a style of Anglican liberalism that is rather different from what liberalism is commonly supposed to be.” Significantly, the name that recurs most often in these essays is that of Richard Hooker: “tantalizingly hard to pigeonhole—like the Anglican tradition as a whole.” Anglican Identities conveys the richness of the Anglican mosaic without ducking the difficult question of how far diversity can stretch before a common tradition begins to fragment.


  • Mark Chapman, Anglican Theology (T&T Clark). This book seeks to explain the ways in which Anglicans have sought to practise theology in their various contexts. It is a clear, insightful, and reliable guide which avoids technical jargon and roots its discussions in concrete examples. The book is primarily a work of historical theology, which engages deeply with key texts and writers from across the tradition (e.g. Cranmer, Jewel, Hooker, Taylor, Butler, Simeon, Pusey, Huntington, Temple, Ramsey, and many others). As well as being suitable for seminary courses, it will be of particular interest to study groups in parishes and churches, as well as to individuals who seek to gain a deeper insight into the traditions of Anglicanism. While it adopts a broad and unpartisan approach, it will also be provocative and lively.
  • J. I. Packer, The Thirty-Nine Articles: Their Place and Use Today (Regent). Anglicanism, according to J. I. Packer, possesses “the truest, wisest and potentially richest heritage in all Christen­dom” with the Thirty-nine Articles at its heart. They catch the substance and spirit of biblical Christianity superbly well, and also provide an excellent model of how to confess the faith in a divided Christendom. In this concise study, Packer aims to show how the sixteenth-century Articles should be viewed in the twenty-first century, and how they can enrich the faith of Anglicans in general and of Anglican evangelicals in particular. He demonstrates why the Articles must once again be given a voice within the Church, not merely as an historical curiosity but an authoritative doctrinal statement. A thought-provoking appendix by Roger Beckwith offers seventeen Supplementary Articles, addressing theological issues which have come into prominence since the original Articles were composed.
  • Samuel Wells, What Anglicans Believe (Canterbury Press Norwich). Born at a time of intense religious controversy, Anglicanism was marked from the start by an ability to hold opposing Catholic and Protestant tendencies together in a wise and generous spirit. Rooted in the earliest formularies of faith, it was able to withstand many passing theological disputes. As disagreements threaten once again to separate one Christian from another, here is a succinct and timely reminder of the core beliefs and values that unite all Anglicans so powerfully. What Anglicans Believe is ideal for new and seasoned but weary believers. A refreshing and inspirational guide, it is arranged in four parts: The Faith – what we believe The Source of the Faith – the famous 3-legged stool of Scripture, reason and tradition The Order of the Faith – how our worship and mission reflect our beliefs The Character of the Faith – how our history equips us to deal with new challenges


  • Richard H. Schmidt, Glorious Companions: Five Centuries of Anglican Spirituality (Eerdmans). This wonderful compendium of religious biographies offers a look inside the hearts and minds of significant shapers of Anglican spirituality over the past five centuries – Thomas Cranmer, John Donne, George Herbert, John Wesley, Dorothy Sayers, C. S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, and many more. Covering twenty-nine of the most influential Anglican figures from the sixteenth century to the present, Richard H. Schmidt deftly chronicles their lives and work while capturing at the same time the deep personal faith that they have managed to communicate so powerfully to the rest of the world. These icons of the Christian faith include not only bishops and scholars but also housewives, poets, novelists, and teachers. Each chapter contains a brief biographical sketch of its subject, a selection of short, representative quotations from his or her writings, and several questions for reflection and discussion. Written in a personable style that brings readers into direct contact with some of the church’s most admired witnesses, Glorious Companions will be valued both as a collection of insightful biographical information and as a lasting source of inspiration.
  • Geoffrey Rowell, Kenneth Stevenson, and Rowan Williams (editors), Love’s Redeeming Work: The Anglican Quest for Holiness (Oxford). This major new anthology of Anglican spiritual writings was compiled by a trio of the Church’s most widely respected scholars. The selections demonstrate by example the Anglican tenet that different strands of spirituality can be held together in a creative tension that enhances the overall strength of the church. Their variety reflects the worldwide nature of the Anglican communion and includes men and women authors from such places as the United Kingdom, the United States, India, Australia, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. This volume is a shining witness to the impact that Anglican spirituality has had on Christianity throughout the world. Featuring a broad spectrum of literary genres (letters, devotional essays, poetry, reflections on the Scriptures, etc.) it will make a superb reference work.


  • Ephraim Radner and Philip Turner, The Fate of Communion: The Agony of Anglicanism and the Future of a Global Church (Eerdmans). 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.
  • R. R. Reno, In the Ruins of the Church: Sustaining Faith in an Age of Diminished Christianity (Brazos). We take care of ourselves, vigorously avoiding pain, rewarding ourselves with pleasure. Thanks to this thorough cultural training, we often approach the church with the same self-protective posture. Faced with failures, hypocrisies, and faithlessness in the church, we fall back on the modern strategy we’ve learned so well: we simply keep our distance. R. R. Reno, however, warns against this aloof ecclesiology. He argues that the post-modern Western church is indeed in ruins and that to be in the church is to embrace a “broken way of life.” Reno’s passionate call for Christians to “suffer divine things” also provides a message of hope: through intimate loyalty to the church, daily prayer, and serious reengagement with Scripture, we can dwell in and with the living Christ. We can abandon the “temptation of distance” and embrace the “imperatives of intimacy.” NOTE: Pay special attention to Part Two. Reno says, “Part two is devoted to evoking the impoverished condition of the Episcopal Church. I want to bring you to see these ruins in theological practice (chapter five, ‘The Theological Vocation in the Episcopal Church’), in liturgy and worship (chapter six, ‘The Drive Toward Change’), and in moral discipline (chapter seven, ‘Sex in the Episcopal Church.’).”


  • Robert Webber & Lester Ruth, Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail: Why Evangelicals Are Attracted to the Liturgical Church (Morehouse).
  • Mark Galli, Beyond Smells and Bells: The Wonder and Power of Christian Liturgy (Paraclete).
  • Alan Jacobs, A Book of Common Prayer: A Biography (Princeton).

2 thoughts on “Bibliography on Anglicanism

  1. Pingback: The Weekly Hit List: January 25, 2013

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