Book Review Editors

By Woolverton, John F. | Anglican and Episcopal History, December 2007 | Go to article overview
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Book Review Editors


Woolverton, John F., Anglican and Episcopal History


We take this opportunity to express the thanks of all of us for the long and conscientious service to the Historical Society of book review editors J. Barrett Miller and James E. Bradley. In Barry Miller's case that service has been for twenty-three years; in Jim Bradley's for eighteen. One need hardly point out that the book review section of a journal such as this is for many readers the most important part of our undertaking.

For the first twenty-nine years of the journal's existence, from 1932 to 1961, the reviewing of books in Anglican, Episcopal, and American church history in general was carried on by the journal's editors-in-chief, E. Clowes Chorley (1932-1949) and Walter H. Stowe (1950-1961). Chorley and Stowe both briefly experimented with short book notices; longer reviews appeared irregularly. Unfortunately, in the seminaries of the Episcopal Church, "American Church History," along with "Christian Education," was treated as the baby of the curriculum. Despite the contributions of Nelson Burr, William Manross, George MacLaren Brydon, Edgar L. Pennington, James Thayer Addison, and a few others, editor Stowe longed for any "omen of a new and brighter day in the field of American Church History."1 In 1961 the book review editorship was taken over by William A. Clebsch of the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest (ETSSW) who reintroduced (for one year only, 1962) "New Books Briefly Noted." In 1966, Clebsch's final year as book review editor, the comprehensive "Annotated Bibliography" of Episcopal, Anglican, and American church history first saw the light of day. For ten years thereafter (1967-1976) both the book review section and the ambitious bibliography were ably carried on by Frank E. Sugeno, professor of church history at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest. For the bibliography, Sugeno "read like crazy." In 1976 J. Carlton Hayden succeeded him as book review editor and served the journal until 1984, the first African American in any major publishing post in the Episcopal Church.

One day during his final, undergraduate year (1974) at Virginia Theological Seminary, Barry Miller brought some not altogether welcome student concerns to a meeting of the faculty. That afternoon this Daniel among the academic lions showed not only razzmatazz but substance as well; he was of a small colony of independent-minded scholars. The likes of Miller were less favored than more "teachable" ministerial prospects, as the student evaluation form encouraged faculty to consider. After a stint as a college chaplain, Miller went on to earn a doctorate (1982) in the English Reformation at Fuller Theological Seminary. There he worked under the guidance of Anglican historian and theologian Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Subsequently Barry Miller was elected to the alumni executive committee of the Virginia Theological Seminary. He repaid both institutions through his articles in this journal on the Book of Homilies and on Virginia's nineteenth-century theologian, William Sparrow.2 Recognized for his sturdy faith, his social concern, and his love of good literature, Miller assumed the book editorship of the journal in 1984. The board of the Historical Society quickly recognized his skill with the intricacies of Constitution and Bye-laws revision where the schmaltz factor gained no openings. While rector of Holy Trinity Church, Nevada City, California, he suffered an extremely serious fall from a high ladder that has left him in constant pain and with limited mobility.

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