Meeting in the aftermath of the Great War, which had been so destructive for human fellowship, the bishops who convened at Lambeth Palace for the delayed Lambeth Conference in 1920 felt themselves “drawn by a Power greater than themselves to a general agreement” regarding the contours of a new approach to Christian unity. “We believe,” they wrote in the famous and influential Appeal to All Christian People, “that the Holy Spirit has called us in a very solemn and special manner to associate ourselves in penitence and prayer with all those who deplore the divisions of Christian people, and are inspired by the vision and hope of a visible unity of the whole Church.”
Inspired by this same vision and hope 100 years on, the present collection of essays returns to the question of Anglican vocation on the doorstep of another delayed Lambeth Conference. Starting with historical sketches of the 1920 Appeal and its long arc of influence, we turn next to theological questions about the Anglican call to unity, assessing strengths and weaknesses, before turning finally to practical questions of faith, order, and ministry.
Contributors: Jeremy Worthen, Charlotte Methuen, John Bauerschmidt, Michael Root, Ephraim Radner, James Hawkey, Christopher Wells, Jeremiah Yang, Hannah Matis, Jenny Andison, Christopher Cocksworth, Joseph Wandera, and Jane Williams.
Anglicans share a commitment to decision-making by synod, and yet the churches of the Communion remain autonomous. In such a context, how can we lay claim to mutual responsibility and interdependence, both as an investment in life together and as a gift to the whole Church?
Sustained conversation in the Anglican Communion is a Christian obligation and an act of faithfulness to our Lord’s prayer in John 17. This remarkable collection of essays brings wisdom, insight, and careful analysis to the complexities of living with disagreement. An important book that has the potential to change the contours of the debate.
—Ian S. Markham, Virginia Theological Seminary
Unity within the Anglican Communion has proven a daunting challenge, yet it remains not a secondary but an essential vocation. The writers of this volume understand both the difficulty and the call, and bring to their reflections a sober historical imagination, informed by theological care and daring. Avoiding platitudes and simplistic assertions, these essays invite deeper discernment and serious ecclesial patience that, in themselves, testify to the ingredients of true Christian unity. When Churches in Communion Disagree provides us with a faithful model of how our larger discussions regarding Anglican common life should proceed.
—Ephraim Radner, Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto
Contributors: Katherine Sonderegger, George R. Sumner, Wesley Hill, Jeremy Worthen, Margaret R. Rose, Joseph Wandera, R. William Franklin, John Bauerschmidt