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Living With History (The New Church's Teaching Series, V. 5) [Paperback]

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Item description for Living With History (The New Church's Teaching Series, V. 5) by Fredrica Harris Thompsett...

Fredrica Harris Thompsett, a scholar of the English Reformation, introduces us to the role that history has played in creating and shaping the Episcopal Church as we know it today. In giving us the broad lessons of Anglican history, she explores in detail both the historian's task and Anglicanism's distinctive history, from its roots in Scripture and the English language Bible and prayerbook to its seventeenth century flowering in poetry and prose and the different forms it has assumed in the American landscape from the time of the Revolution right through to the late 20th century. Thompsett begins by discussing the relationship between history, tradition, and change, and goes on to outline ten key "touchstones" or milestones in Christian history that are of particular interest to Anglicans. Since it is the historian's task to write the "unwritten" as well as the official story of the church, chapter three is a history of ministry in the church, especially of lay ministry. Chapter four looks at three ways that Anglicans have handled conflict and controversy throughout its history, concentrating on the Elizabethan Settlement, the American Civil War, and the impact of Darwin and the new science. Chapter five discusses how theological insight can be "recycled" to shed new light on the problems of today, focusing on Anglican theology of creation and how it helps us address ecology as a spiritual crisis. Finally, chapter six focuses on how a living historical tradition affects the life and mission of the church today, and how we are a part of that history.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Cowley Publications
Pages   200
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.66" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.55"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 25, 1999
Publisher   Cowley Publications
Series  New Churchs Teaching  
Series Number  5  
ISBN  1561011606  
ISBN13  9781561011605  

Availability  0 units.

More About Fredrica Harris Thompsett

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Thompsett is professor of Church History at the Episcopal Divinity School of Cambridge, Massachusetts. A popular conference leader, lecturer, and participant in worldwide Anglican dialogue.

Fredrica Harris Thompsett was born in 1942.

Fredrica Harris Thompsett has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Seabury Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Protestant
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Anglican
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Episcopalian > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Living With History (The New Church's Teaching Series, V. 5)?

History for today's world...  Jun 14, 2004
The Episcopal church in the twentieth century took advantage of the general availability of publishing to good advantage, compiling through several auspices different collections and teaching series, the latest of which was only completed a few years ago. There have been 'unofficial' collections of teaching texts, such as the Anglican Studies Series by Morehouse press, put out in the 1980s, as well as an earlier teaching series. However, each generation approaches things anew; the New Church Teaching Series, published by Cowley Publications (a company operated as part of the ministry of the Society of St. John the Evangelist - SSJE - one of the religious/monastic communities in the Episcopal church, based in the Boston area) is the most recent series, and in its thirteen volumes, explores in depth and breadth the theology, history, liturgy, ethics, mission and more of the modern Anglican vision in America.

This fifth volume, 'Living with History' by Fredrica Harris Thompsett, takes a look at the role of history in a unique way. Rather than looking at the linear description of history as a timeline of dates, times, places and people (some of which is covered in other volumes of this series anyway), she develops the idea of history in a 'backwards' fashion, by looking at key issues alive in the church today, and then tracing back to the historical forces that shape and influence those issues.

In one chapter, Thompsett looks at 'ten touchstones' of the history of the church and community. These begin with the call to be in covenant relationship with God (this occurs several times in the biblical texts, actually), through various points such as the Incarnation (Jesus in the world), the development of the Bible in English, etc. One may quibble with some of her choices; as an historian with a purpose, she is necessarily selective with regard to her developmental strands (indeed, every historian is selective, given the astonishing amount of detail available and limited number of pages any publisher is willing to print).

Issues Thompsett weaves together in this text include living with change (at one point she confesses there was a point that she thought the church would, and possibly should, never change), living with community (which includes history), and living with traditions and continuity. This is a very forward-looking volume.

Fredrica Harris Thompsett teaches church history at EDS, the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A lay leader in the church (one of few laypersons among the authors of books in this or other church teaching series), she is a popular lecturer and conference leader.

Each of the texts is relatively short (only two of the volumes exceed 200 pages), the print and text of each easy to read, designed not for scholars but for the regular church-goer, but not condescending either - the authors operate on the assumption that the readers are genuinely interested in deepening their faith and practice. Each volume concludes with questions for use in discussion group settings, and with annotated lists of further readings recommended.


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