Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Radical Compassion: The Life and Times of Archbishop Ted Scott

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Radical Compassion: The Life and Times of Archbishop Ted Scott

Article excerpt

HUGH MCCULLUM. Radical Compassion: The Life and Times of Archbishop Ted Scott. Toronto, Canada: ABC Publishing, 2004. Pp. 544, appendices, works cited, index. $29.95 (paper).

As the Anglican Communion enters the twenty-first century, what are the issues it must confront? Can how it dealt with societal, cultural, and theological issues in the past be a guide? For those interested in such questions, Hugh McCullum's biography of Ted Scott, the former primate of the Anglican Church in Canada, is an interesting and cautionary place to begin.

Scott casts a commanding shadow across the Anglican Communion. Serving as primate of the Church of Canada from 1971 until 1986, he also spent time as a leader within the communion and the World Council of Churches. Scott attempted to make personal connections as archbishop in order to escape bureaucratic tunnel vision and was willing to seek change in his church to keep it relevant to modern believers. Despite his activist impulses, he hated direct confrontation and often had a difficult time making decisions. Scott always was willing to listen to both sides of an argument, often seeking a middle ground, while still dealing with divisive issues such as reaching out to Native Americans, ecumenism, and battling apartheid in South Africa.

McCullum is to be commended for capturing Scott in all his complexities, as well as writing a book that is very easy to read. However, some readers may find McCullum's journalistic style of prose, desire to include tangential issues, and need to use every fact he uncovered a bit distracting and disruptive to the narrative flow. …

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