Over the years, Covenant and The Living Church have featured reflections on the complex, often ambiguous relationship between Christian faith and patriotism (particularly within the context of the United States). For any expression of Christianity this is often a fraught relationship, but all the more so within the Anglican tradition, where the Church of England’s established church DNA is discernible in various ways across the Communion. This is readily apparent in the Episcopal Church, where Washington, DC’s cathedral church of St. Peter and St. Paul is known as the “National Cathedral,” and where Independence Day is a major feast.

In the last few years, controversy has arisen about how to best tell the American story, and particularly the formative role of slavery and its ongoing effects in the American landscape. I, personally, believe we ought to face these issues head-on. There can be no national unity, no true domestic peace that is not rooted in justice and in truth-telling. But regardless of where we wind up coming down on the issue of the proper approach to history, Independence Day affords us an opportunity for reflection on the country we have, on where we have been, and perhaps most especially, on the sort of country we could and should be. The following collection of essays from the Covenant archives are offered in the hope that they can foster this.

— Eugene R. Schlesinger, editor of Covenant


Our citizenship in the kingdom of God

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By Hiram Hisanori Kano (1946).

TBT: Our citizenship in the kingdom of God


An Earthly and a Heavenly Citizen

by Richard Kew (2016)

An earthly and a heavenly citizen


The Demise of American Civil Religion

by Neil Dhingra (2016)

The demise of American civil religion


U2’s America

by Benjamin Guyer (2018)

U2’s America


The Episcopal Church and Liberty

by Kristine Blaess

The Episcopal Church and Liberty


How We Tell the Story (or, How Christian Nationalism Makes Racism Invisible)

by Abigail Woolley Cutter (2020)

How We Tell the Story (Or, How Christian Nationalism Makes Racism Invisible)


Uncomfortable Genealogy

by Richard Mammana (2020)

Uncomfortable Genealogy


Shame and Glory of Evangelicals

by Peter Shellhase (2020)

Shame and Glory of the Evangelicals


Healing the Breach: Thinking Theologically about Reparations

by Hugh R. Page, Jr. (2020)

Healing the Breach: Thinking Theologically About Reparations


Common Objects of American Love: Augustine and the Inaugural Address

by Mark Clavier (2020)

Common Objects of American Love: Augustine and the Inaugural Address

About The Author

In continuous publication since 1878, The Living Church remains focused on the whole state of Christ’s Church, amid major shifts in the landscape and culture of global Christianity. We are champions of a covenanted Anglican Communion as a means of healing the wounds of division in the body of Christ.

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