Fling out the Banner! the National Church Ideal and the Foreign Mission of the Episcopal Church

Article excerpt

Fling Out the Banner! The National Church Ideal and the Foreign Mission of the Episcopal Church. Bylan T. Douglas. New York: Church Hymnal Corporation, 1996. Pp. viii, 341. No price given.

In Fling Out the Banner Ian Douglas provides a fascinating take on the history of the Episcopal Church-one that is presented by means of a narrative of its missionary thought and activity. He begins with the nineteenth century and ends with the period 1960-90. The primary subject of the book is the growth and influence of the Episcopal Church's understanding of itself as a national church destined to occupy a central and strategic place in the configuration of American denominationalism.

Douglas recounts the way in which the national church ideal expressed itself in a particular view of the mission of the Episcopal Church, and in so doing, he shows the ways in which America's churches remain prisoners of the social forces that have shaped America's history. People like William Reed Huntington believed that the Catholic and Reformed traditions of Anglicanism positioned the Episcopal Church to provide a bridge between frontier Protestants and immigrant Roman Catholics. …