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A Brief History of the Episcopal Church [Paperback]

By David L. Holmes (Author)
Our Price $ 38.21  
Retail Value $ 44.95  
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Item Number 120446  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.52" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.57"
Weight:   0.69 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 1993
Publisher   Continuum International Publishing Group
ISBN  1563380609  
EAN  9781563380600  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In this concise historical narrative, author David L. Holmes provides a great summation of a key piece of American religious history. Highlighting the account of emmergence of Episcopal from the Protestant reforms and Catholics. A readable and engaging book on the Episcopal Church. Unlike so many histories of religious denominations, which are typically superficial and celebratory, this one presents its subject 'warts and all'.

Publishers Description
Many denominations have faced serious identity crisis in recent years. Who are we? We do we exist? What is our mission given the radical political, social, and economic changes that have occurred in this century? What does it mean to be "church" in a pluralistic, postmodern world? In an effort to answer these and related questions, denominations have rediscovered their origins and redefined themselves and their mission in ways that are consistent with their history. Additional research into denominational histories and the rewriting of these histories has been of significant import in helping today's churches relate to their times. David L. Holmes has produced a relatively concise, highly literary 400-year history of the Episcopal Church, its successes and its failures. He has clearly tied this history to the Anglican Reformation that emerged from Henry VIII's break with Roman Catholicism (an appendix on the annulment of Henry VIII has been included for those who may be unfamiliar with what precipitated the crisis between Henry and the Roman Church). This book, then, provides a readable and accurate account of the beginnings of the Anglican Church in America at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, to the establishment of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America after the War of Independence, to the present day. "Although only sixth in terms of numbers in the United States," David Holmes concludes, "the denomination that first appeared in the colonies as the Church of England 400 years ago has become substantially Americanized. It may be second to none in the nation in terms of power and influence." All who are interested in American church history and in the influence of the Episcopal Church on American history will find David Holmes's account fascinating and helpful. David L. Holmes is Professor of American Religion and Church History at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia.

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More About David L. Holmes

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David L. Holmes is Walter G. Mason Professor of Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary. He is the author of A Brief History of the Episcopal Church, A Nation Mourns, other books, and numerous articles.

David L. Holmes was born in 1942.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Brief History of the Episcopal Church  Jul 26, 2001
I enjoyed reading this book by David L. Holmes. He goes into great detail about the Episcopal religion, and its history from the Anglican Reformation to the present. He not only tells when some Anglican traditions started but what other religions were doing during the same time frame. This book has given me a real hunger for doing more research on the Episcopal Faith
Fair and Caring History Gives Context to Modern Church  Sep 9, 2000
Dr. David Holmes's Brief History is important reading for anyone interested in the Episcopal Church, being engaging in its style and tone, comprehensive in its coverage, and useful in its bibliography. Dr. Holmes helped me, an Episcopalian of 30 years, make fair and caring sense of the many currents of religious thought that I first learned about in the late 1960s, and to place them into their historical and theological contexts both within and outside the Episcopal Church. Those currents too often divide and discourage rather than unite and uplift us, and we Episcopalians could argue a lot less (even about liturgy and music!), or at least argue with more community, if we learned the historical facts and the gently suggested lessons that this book can teach us. We also might come away feeling more kinship, not only with other Episcopalians whose views we may not share, but also with other denominations, with whom we share more than many of us (including this reviewer) probably know.
A "brief history" that will appeal to many  Sep 8, 2000
Good history pairs accurate facts with clear analysis. Great history adds fresh ideas, compelling personal accounts, and a genuine passion for the subject matter. In this engaging book on the Episcopal church, David Holmes has written history of the best kind.

As a professor at the College of William and Mary, Holmes commands knowledge of both church development and European and American history. Yet his simple, direct language makes complex topics clear to readers unfamiliar with church history or religious studies in general. His research also makes Episcopal history relevant to a wide range of audiences.

In a chapter entitled "The Growth of the Episcopal Church," Holmes chronicles the church's post-Colonial development. The diversity in this section shines. With fascinating detail, the author describes Anglican attempts to evangelize Native Americans, touches on foreign missions, and writes about the effect of immigration on the church.

Holmes also deals deftly with the role of African-Americans in the church, beginning with the baptism of an African-American family at Jamestown in 1623. He objectively describes the church's response to slavery and the Civil War, and explains the subsequent disaffection of many African-Americans from the denomination.

Finally, Holmes brilliantly chronicles the little-known role of women in areas such as missionary work and the social gospel movement. The book tells the stories of several women affected by the national debate over women's ordination in the 1960's and 1970's.

Even without the detailed and lively history that comprises its six main chapters, Holmes's book would be worth reading for its fascinating appendix, which chronicles Henry VIII's quest for an annulment from Catherine of Aragon. In an exceedingly well-researched account, Holmes balances historical detail with human interest drama that will captivate readers of all levels.

With lively prose and compelling analysis, this "brief history" will be a delight for scholars, laity, and history buffs alike.

Church History that reads like a good novel.  Oct 4, 1997
David L. Holmes's A Brief History of the Episcopal Church is an outstanding tour through the history of the Episcopal church, from its earliest days to the present. In fewer than 200 pages Holmes covers a wide range of persons, groups, and subjects and does so with flair and wit. He writes in an inviting and approachable style that combines sound scholarship with the insights and intuitions of a seasoned and highly effective college professor.

Holmes successfully incorporates discussions of liturgy, theology, polity, and architecture into the story, while giving attention to women and men representing a range of ethnic and social backgrounds. In so doing he relates the history of the Episcopal church to that of the larger society in a way that makes church history come alive. The author draws readers into the rich history of the Episcopal church and Anglican tradition through a narrative style that is insightful yet balanced, engaging yet informative. For example, his treatment of "Henry VIII's Quest for an Annulment" helpfully discusses this event and its effects within the context of its time.

The book is accessible to a wide range of individuals, from general readers to students of Episcopal church history. Holmes's Brief History can be used successfully in both classrooms and churches. It will be welcomed by teachers, students, libraries, and others interested in Episcopal or American church history. Here is one example of a brief church history that is informative, fair, and a pleasure to read.


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