Item description for Divided We Stand: A History of the Continuing Anglican Movement by Douglas Bess...
The Continuing Anglican Movement is made up of those who strive to "continue" in the way of traditional Anglicanism, which many feel the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada have abandoned in their Prayer Book reforms, policies regarding the ordination of women, the full inclusion of gays and lesbians, and other issues. This is the only full-length history of the Continuing Anglican movement in the United States and Canada, an engaging, fascinating, and often painful ecclesial saga-available once again in a new edition from the Apocryphile Press.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Divided We Stand: A History of the Continuing Anglican Movement?
You Can't Tell the Players Without a Scorecard Mar 18, 2007
This is a very interesting book, but gets overloaded with so many players that it is difficult to keep track of who is who! I suspect that this is a "First Edition" and that the second edition will be forthcoming at some point, as the continuing Anglican movement is still playing itself out and how its end state will look is far from certain right now. But with The Episcopal Church's descent into what can most charitably be called "non-orthodox Christianity," this is a story that is far from over.
Interesting but Not Surprising Jan 16, 2007
Thank you for the opportunity to review this book. My first observation is that I know nothing of the credentials of the author. This is very important when dealing with (reading) such a book. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is that it confirms much of my understanding of what has and is still taking place in the Continuing Anglican Movement south of the 49th. As a priest within the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada I am aware of how much of what goes on in the U.S Church gradually enters Canada. Not all of this is good, sadly. I cringe at the description of devious and deceitful behaviour. I realize it is in Canada too and it appears to be growing. The author has done us a great service and I pray that his sincere efforts awake those who seem to be content to sleep on, regardless. Thank you Mr. Bess. The Rev'd., Fr. Richard S. Mowry, TSF (a.k.a The Rev'd., Bro. Cuthbert, TSF)
Finally something to make sense of the Alphabet Soup Feb 25, 2003
As a minister in the Reformed Episcopal Church -- not technically one of the Continuing jurisdictions -- I've found myself encountering and working with members of the Anglican Continuum. Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of the Continuum is sorting out the different groups and what they represent. This book does exactly that and if you're looking for some help to sort out the various jurisdictions and where they've come from you'll find your answers here.
The book is rather poorly edited and would be greatly improved if it had an index, but on the whole I found it very informative. The greatest problem with this book is stated by the author in the introduction: there is no comprehensive source of history and documents for the Continuing Anglican churches, and those sources that are available are frequently biased and sometimes unreliable. If you read this book, remember that some parts are rather biased and many parts include a good bit of speculation.
If you are interested in the Continuum -- where it's come from and where it's going -- you'll find this book fascinating. Just remember to read between the lines and don't accept everything at face value.
Continuers Get Their Day In The Sun Aug 27, 2002
This book was a pleasant suprise. As an Episcopalian, I was expecting it to basically trash the "mainstream" Episcopal Church, and to glorify the "dissidents" who make up the Continuing Churches. Although the book is certainly sympathetic to the Continuers, it is also brutally honest about the weaknesses of certain groups and figures within the movement. Perhaps the book's greatest strength is that it tells the story (and tells it with a fresh writing style) of a group of conservative Epsicopalians that (to the best of my knowledge) have never had their story revealed before. There are some fascinating and quirky tales: of the early Continuing bishop who was an influential member of just about every radical right-wing political group in the 1960s; of a leading bishop in the movement who seems to have been a habitual "jurisdiction hopper," ecclesiastical coniver, and womanizer; and my personal favorite - the "brawling bishops" incident. However, besides these juicy tales of strange and erratic behavior by some leaders in the Continuing movement, the book is basically a serious examination of the problems that committed "traditionalist" Episcopalians and Anglicans encountered when they were isolated in jurisdictions of their own creation. The old problem of "High Church" and "Low Church" interpretations of Anglicanism seems to have reared its ugly head with renewed force within the Continuing churches. Having left the Episcopal Church in the 1970s because it was alleged to have been politically radicalized and taken over by "secular humanism," the Continuers discovered that their commitment to "orthodoxy" led to more problems than they had imagined. A warning is in order. The book does have its weaknesses. Idealogically, many Episcopalians may not take kindly to the author's description of female priests as "priestesses," or to his descriptions of Episcopalian political activism in the late 1960s as "foolish" and "naive." Also, the book could have used a more thorough editing job. There are quite a few typos. Perhaps most frustrating is that the book does not have have an index (although it is well footnoted). Despite these flaws, the book was much more interesting and informative than I was expecting it to be.