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The Anglican Spirit: Seabury Classics [Paperback]

By Michael Ramsey (Author) & Dale Coleman (Editor)
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Introductory lectures on Anglicanism by Archbishop Michael Ramsey, one of the church's most remarkable twentieth-century saints - wise, humble, humorous, compassionate.

Publishers Description
Archbishop Michael Ramsey was one of the church's most remarkable twentieth-century saints--wise and humble, humorous and compassionate. These introductory lectures on Anglicanism reveal the breadth of Ramsey's theological understanding, his ecumenism, and his vision of the church and the Christian life. Informal and conversational in style, the lectures offer an overview of Anglican theology, spirituality, and history. Ramsey begins with Anglicanism's enduring characteristics, including its dependence on Scripture, tradition--the ancient writers of the church who guide us in interpreting the Bible--and reason, our God-given capacity for divine revelation. Next Ramsey explores its teachings on theology and the sacraments, Tractarianism and the Oxford Movement, the renaissance of Anglican religious communities, and the evolving doctrines of creation, incarnation, and the Holy Spirit. The final section presents Ramsey's theology of the church and Anglicanism's relationship to Rome and the Orthodox churches.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Seabury Books
Pages   166
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.66" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.34"
Weight:   0.44 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2004
Publisher   Seabury Classics
Series  Seabury Classics  
ISBN  1596280042  
ISBN13  9781596280045  

Availability  0 units.

More About Michael Ramsey & Dale Coleman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! The Right Reverend and Right Honorable Arthur Michael Ramsey (19041988) was the 100th archbishop of Canterbury. He also served as archbishop of York, bishop of Durham, and president of theWorld Council of Churches. Ramsey

was the Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University and an influential

Anglican theologian. His portrait appeared on the cover of Time magazine, August 16, 1963, introducing coverage of "The Anglican communion:Worldly,Worldwide,

Catholic, and Protestant." A noted scholar, his other works include The Resurrection

of Christ (1944), F.D. Maurice and the Conflicts of Modern Theology (1951), and From Gore to Temple (1960).

Michael Ramsey was born in 1904 and died in 1988.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Anglican

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Protestant Denominations

Reviews - What do customers think about Anglican Spirit?

An Excellent Introduction  Nov 2, 2004
Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, notes in his foreword that this is a book that is really needed right now. Given that tensions in the Anglican Communion have been increasing for quite some time and that they are now at the point where the Anglican Communion is likely to change in some significant and painful ways over the next few months, it is well worth looking back and seeing something of what others (particularly the heroes of the past!) saw when they looked at Ekklesia Anglicana.

This work is a short one. Compiled from class notes and given Ramsey's editorial approval, the chapters that make up The Anglican Spirit come across as quite conversational - much as if one were sitting the classroom where Ramsey first delivered these. In short, Ramsey gives a quick tour of the history of Anglican thought and practice while giving a bit of theological commentary on the side: criticisms, critiques and approvals. He brings out things that one would likely not know if one were not an expert and well trained in the history of Anglican thought - again, giving the book a conversational tone while sacrificing none of its content.

One is left with a sense that Anglicanism does have a grounding in Scripture, Tradition and Reason - that, contrary to what many think, one may really speak of an Anglican spirit and an Anglican thought process. Anglicans, like other Christians, hold the Scriptures in the highest regard and they believe that the Scriptures must be read not only in the light of higher Biblical criticism, but through the light of the many different thinkers of the Church, especially the creeds and the first four Ecumenical Councils. Ramsey notes that these four have always been authoritative for Anglicans in a way that the last three Ecumenical Councils were not - not that they were or are wrong, but that they never had a grip on the Western (Anglican, Roman Catholic and Protestant) imagination as a whole.

Perhaps more difficult, though, is the idea that "reason" - the bogeyman of so much contemporary thought - ought to play a part in the Christian life in general, and the Anglican life in particular. Ramsey does not propose that one ought to disregard the past in light of new cultural configurations, but that one must ask one's self - the Church must ask itself - how the Gospel is to be given in such a way that its relevancy is seen in a particular culture. This is not watered-down relativism, but an honest and forthright approach to reading both Scripture and Tradition in light of one's contemporary situation.

It would have been welcome to read a chapter on how exactly the Church is to use Reason to engage a particular culture, but Ramsey doesn't touch upon this (perhaps it was not as urgent an issue when this book was first put together a good 13 years ago). Yet, perhaps there is an answer in his ecclesiology. He proves quite prophetic at points, particularly when he discusses unilateralism in the communion and how dangerous it is not only to Anglicans but to all Christians. One can - and should - ask whether or not this means that Ramsey refuses to let a given culture be self-justifying; it is worth reading his chapter on the church and noting what he doesn't say as much as what he does say.

Yet, when he discusses the relationship of Anglicanism to the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, he notes that Anglicanism does not exist for itself and that perhaps the time will come when it will have to dissolve to make way for a greater good in the Church catholic. While very few would want to see this happen, one must admit that it takes a good bit of humility to write this sort of thing, especially since Ramsey was the Archbishop of Canterbury at a truly revolutionary time in both global Christianity and world history.

Hopefully these latter words of Ramsey's will prove to be less prophetic and more along the lines of a warning, not unlike the recent Windsor Report. Of course, only time will tell. In the time between, however, this is an excellent introduction to the spirit of Anglicanism by someone who truly was one of Anglicanism's greatest spirits.

[This book is perfectly complemented by Mark Chapman's Anglicanism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions).]
A classic on genuine anglicanism  Apr 30, 2001
Michael Ramsey (former Archbishop of Canterbury) sets out the history and heart of anglicansim in this very readable introduction to Anglicanism. His insights and perceptions help us get to the history and heart of true anglicanism and its relationship to other churches, especially the Roman Catholic.

The first 2 chapters are key for anyone wanting to discover or return to genuine anglicanism, versus a (post-)modernist, liberal interpretation. Enjoy it!


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