"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Anglicanism and Orthodoxy

The relations between the Anglican Communion and the Orthodox Church are quite interesting. In part, the former has often seemed motivated to seek out the approbation of the latter when the Catholic Church was not willing to ''play ball'' and, e.g., recognize Anglican orders. And of course some Anglicans and some Orthodox have drawn together in part because of a shared disdain for the Roman papacy.

Anglican-Orthodox relations come in for periodic, but fascinating, study. In 2005 we had Peter M. Doll's well-received study, Anglicanism and Orthodoxy 300 years after the 'Greek College' in Oxford. 

Then in late 2009 we had a fascinating new study by Bryn Geffert: Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans: Diplomacy, Theology, and the Politics of Interwar Ecumenism (University of Notre Dame Press, 2009), 560pp. 

About this book, the publisher, tells us:
Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans is the first sustained study of inter-Orthodox relations, the special role of the Anglican Church, and the problems of Orthodox nationalism in the modern age. Despite many challenges, the interwar years were a time of intense creativity in the Russian Orthodox Church. Russian emigres, freed from enforced isolation in the wake of the Russian Revolution, found themselves in close contact with figures from other Orthodox churches and from the Roman Catholic Church and all varieties of Protestant confessions. For many reasons, Russian exiles found themselves drawn to the Anglican Church in particular. The interwar years thus witnessed a concentrated effort to bridge the gap between Orthodox and Anglican. Geffert's book is a detailed history of that effort. It is the story of efforts toward rapprochement by two churches and their ultimate failure to achieve formal unity. The same political, diplomatic, historical, personal, and religious forces that first inspired contact were the ones that ultimately undermined the effort. Bryn Geffert recounts the history of an important chapter in the history of Christian ecumenism, one that is relevant to contemporary efforts to achieve meaningful interfaith dialogue.
I asked the Anglican scholar Hugh Wybrew of Oxford to review this for us in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies. Wybrew is the author of such acclaimed texts as The Orthodox Liturgy: The Development of the Eucharistic Liturgy in the Byzantine Rite as well as Orthodox Feasts of Jesus Christ & the Virgin Mary: Liturgical Texts With Commentary and Risen with Christ: Eastertide in the Orthodox Church. In addition, he has authored Risen with Christ: Eastertide in the Orthodox Church.

In his review, Wybrew notes that this is a "very thoroughly researched" from an author who "knows his subject well and presents it in a readable and attractive way,"

1 comment:

  1. There are a couple of older books comparing Anglicanism and Orthodoxy which are good:



    And don't forget books on Lutheranism and Orthodoxy!





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