Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Editor's Notes

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Editor's Notes

Article excerpt

When the time comes for an evenhanded assessment of theology's achievements and shortcomings in the twentieth century, there will surely be agreement that a shift from polemics to conversation between different churches and traditions was among the most significant trends to have emerged. Ecumenical dialogues have had their own ups and downs, but they continue, however slowly, on many fronts. This issue of the ATR opens with a contribution to one of them. In a paper read at Moscow in the conversation with the Russian Orthodox Church, Charles Miller unfolds the understanding of the laity as an apostolate, an order of the church's ministry, that is set out explicitly and by implication in the Prayer Book of the Episcopal Church.

In other ecumenical conversations, another of the church's orders-the episcopate-has long been a difficult point to negotiate. Peter Antoci's article draws on the writings of two Anglican divines to suggest a way in which the office of bishop might be seen as "apostolic" inasmuch as it mediates Christian virtues that effect unity, rather than as a structural, hierarchical precondition of ecclesial life.

Bishops, in classical Anglicanism, have often been divines themselves-thoughtful scholars as well as administrative functionaries. The work of two such episcopal thinkers on topics of contemporary relevance is brought to appreciative attention in the next two articles. Susan Holman's careful scrutiny of J. B. Lightfoot's preaching-and its transmission to the printed page-sheds light both on this bishop's views on the ministry of women and on the climate of opinion in which his views were (mis)perceived. …

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