By G. Jeffrey MacDonald
Scholarly articles about Episcopal Church history are reaching a wider audience than ever before as online platforms allow for worldwide distribution at the click of a button. That was one of several encouraging messages shared Tuesday at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City as the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church gathered for its annual meeting.
With finances in good shape, the society is pressing ahead with awarding $14,000 in scholarships and publishing the quarterly journal Anglican and Episcopal History, according to President Robert Prichard.
“We’ve put every issue, going back to the 1930s, on JSTOR,” an online project for disseminating scholarly journals, Prichard said. “We’re finding a great number of interested people looking for that.”
The event drew about 35 people for a reception, dinner, and a talk by Philip Barlow, a professor of Mormon history and culture at Utah State University. He spoke on the use of demographics and geography in the study of religious history, including that of the Episcopal Church.
The meeting drew a range of people with professional and avocational interests in Episcopal Church history. Among them were faculty from Virginia Theological Seminary, General Theological Seminary, and the University of Maryland, as well as a South Carolina rector and a member of the Diocese of Arizona’s staff.
“The goal is to popularize history and to discover people who are interested in history,” Prichard said. To that end, the society will sponsor a conference in June 2016. The topic will focus on Native American relations and issues in Episcopal Church history.