Tradition: readers respond to book

Published May 1, 1998


The Challenge of Tradition Discerning the Future of Anglicanism John Simons, editor

Anglican Book Centre

$18.95 (paper)

ISBN 1-55126-163-4

Anglican Essentials Reclaiming the Faith within the Anglican Church of Canada George Egerton, editor

Anglican Book Centre

$14.95 (paper)

ISBN 1-55126-095-6

Editor’s Note: In January, the Anglican Journal published a lengthy critique of the book The Challenge of Tradition: Discerning the Future of Anglicanism. That book was a response to an earlier book, Anglican Essentials: Reclaiming Faith within the Anglican Church of Canada. Readers were invited to add their own comments: these are the four received (edited because of space limitations).

They are offered as a contribution to what the Primate has called “Anglican people of many points of view … speaking with one another in a more focused way about matters of faith and doctrine, about their own journeying to God.”

`Disappointed’ Naively, I hoped the authors of The Challenge of Tradition would offer a solid and serious critique of the Essentials movement (and substantive criticisms are possible), but I was disappointed. I want to speak from within the Anglican tradition of challenge in this critique.Most of the authors tend to caricature the Essentials movement or simplistically react to the Montreal Declaration. I expected more from people steeped in responsible thought and critical pedagogy.

`Cool, refreshing’ The bad thing about the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials is that it seems to be yet one more statement of a tired old conservatism threatening to call forth yet one more statement from a tired old liberalism. The good thing about The Challenge of Tradition is that its contributors abandon “the fruitless categories of an inappropriate alternative” (Paul Jennings’s phrase) and “discerning the future of Anglicanism” points the way forward to a new synthesis.

Review `unfair’ Professor Ritchie is right to insist on the importance of the pluralism question in comments on Anglican Essentials, and on The Challenge of Tradition. He does not provide his own vision, but I assume that it is much closer to concepts of the authors of the Montreal Declaration than to those of the critics of that declaration.

`Positive and realistic’ Anglican Essentials and the “thrill” of Tradition; Discerning the Future of Anglicanism: A Positive View. These phrases combine much of the content of the books, Anglican Essentials and The Challenge of Tradition. Can we use them to discern an array of responses which the Anglican Church could make using the two manifestos?


Keep on reading

Skip to content