For the first time, a collection of selected letters to the editor published in the Anglican Journal and its predecessor, the Canadian Churchman, during the last 50 of the publication’s 130-year history will be compiled in a book scheduled for release this month.
Hot Under the Collar, published by the Anglican Book Centre, holds up a mirror to Anglicans and the issues they felt passionate about from 1955 to 2005.
“The Journal and its predecessor Canadian Churchman, have always played a special role in the life of the church, for it is through the Letters page that the people in the pews have carried on the debate about controversial issues,” wrote Carolyn Purden, Journal editor from 1991 to 1995, in the book’s foreword. “To read through these letters year after year is to read the evolving history of the Anglican church and to witness the changing mores of our society.”
The issues that engaged readers included modernizing the liturgy; banning the bomb; anti-apartheid protests; the place of gays and lesbians in the church; changing the words of old hymns; draft dodgers; the value of residential schools; legalizing abortion; promoting shareholder action against corporations; union with other churches; opening the priesthood and episcopacy to women and capital punishment.
Hot Under the Collar, which contains more than 250 letters (out of 5,000 published by the publication in 50 years), is available at the Anglican Book Centre (416-924-1332 or 1-800-268-1168 in U.S. and Canada; www.anglicanbookcentre.com).