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Paperback / softback


Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
ISBN: 9780271080901
Number of Pages: 264
Published: 17/04/2018
Width: 15.2 cm
Height: 22.9 cm

Worldwide debates over issues of sexuality and gender have come to a head in recent years in mainline and evangelical churches, with the Anglican Communion—a worldwide network of churches that trace their practice to Canterbury and claim some 85 million members—among the most publicly visible sites of contestation. This thorough and compelling analysis of the conflicts within the Communion argues that they are symptoms of long-simmering issues that must be addressed when Anglican bishops and archbishops meet at the 2020 Lambeth Conference.

To many, the disagreements over such issues as LGBTQ clergy, same-sex marriage, and women’s ordination suggest an insurmountable crisis facing Anglicans, one that may ultimately end the Communion. Christopher Craig Brittain and Andrew McKinnon argue otherwise. Drawing on extensive empirical research and interviews with influential Anglican leaders, they show how these struggles stem from a complex interplay of factors, notably the forces and effects of globalization, new communications technology, and previous decisions made by the Communion. In clarifying both the theological arguments and social forces at play as the bishops and primates of the Anglican Communion prepare to set the Church’s course for the next decade, Brittain and McKinnon combine sociological and theological methodologies to provide both a nuanced portrait of Anglicanism in a transnational age and a primer on the issues with which the Lambeth Conference will wrestle.

Insightful, informative, and thought-provoking, The Anglican Communion at a Crossroads is an invaluable resource for understanding the debates taking place in this worldwide community. Those interested in Anglicanism, sexuality and the Christian tradition, the sociology of religion, and the evolving relationship between World Christianity and churches in the Global North will find it indispensable.

Christopher Craig Brittain (AUTHOR IS CHANGING INSTITUTIONS ON JULY 1, 2017), Andrew McKinnon (Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen)

Christopher Craig Brittain is Dean of Divinity and Margaret E. Fleck Chair in Anglican Studies at Trinity College, University of Toronto. His publications include A Plague on Both Their Houses: Liberal vs. Conservative Christians and the Divorce of the Episcopal Church USA, Religion at Ground Zero: Theological Responses to Times of Crises, and The Weight of Objectivity: Critical Social Theory and Theology.

Andrew McKinnon, a sociologist of religion, is Senior Lecturer of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen.

"A fascinating read, regardless of your personal faith or politics." -Eric C. Miller, Reading Religion "The interviews and the authors' wide knowledge of the literature on church conflict, globalisation, and related issues combine to produce a book that clearly lays out the roots of the discord within the Anglican Communion and challenges some tired explanations for the conflict." -Church Times "Of the books on the state of the Anglican Communion in the last two decades, Brittain and McKinnon offer the best analysis to date, offering a lucid, coherent, and balanced presentation of the situation the Anglican Communion finds itself in." -James Tengatenga, Anglican Theological Review "As closely tied to national identities as the churches are themselves, the nature and fate of the Anglican Communion will be a continuing research area for some time: this book is recommended for students, scholars, and practitioners." -Abby Day, Sociology of Religion "This timely, lucid, and admirably balanced book should be required reading for all those who care about the Anglican Communion. The debate about same-sex relationships is correctly perceived as the presenting issue of deeper tensions, which are then explored from a variety of perspectives. I recommend it warmly." -Grace Davie, author of Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox "Americans seeking to understand the conflict raging within the Episcopal Church will gain perspective from this valuable book. It's not just a battle in the 'culture war.' Homosexuality is the 'presenting symbol' of broader struggles within a 500-year-old, increasingly transnational institution. Making use of sociological theory, religious history, and interviews with church leaders around the world, Brittain and McKinnon assess the fate of Anglicanism in the context of its current crisis." -R. Stephen Warner, author of A Church of Our Own: Disestablishment and Diversity in American Religion

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