Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The Episcopal Church in Virginia, 1607-2007

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The Episcopal Church in Virginia, 1607-2007

Article excerpt

The Episcopal Church in Virginia, 1607-2007. By Edward L. Bond and Joan R. Gundersen (Richmond: The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, 2007, Pp. 195. $25.00.)

When readers of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography opened the second issue of 2007 (Vol. 115), instead of the customary three or four articles, they found something quite extraordinary, a book-length brief history of the Episcopal Church of Virginia. Simultaneously, the diocese of Virginia published a hardcover version, identical in text and illustrations, which is considered here. The genesis of this adventurous project is nowhere disclosed but its success ultimately rested with its authors. In Edward Bond and Joan Gundersen no better choices could have been made. Both are distinguished professional historians whose books, articles, and edited collections have been devoted to Virginia's Anglican and Episcopal history. Gundersen's pioneering studies of the experiences and contributions of women in the church and Bond's examinations of the African American experience and slavery mean that two of the current dominant trinity of interpretive discourses in American historiography - race and gender - while not driving organization and argument are nonetheless reflected in this new narrative.

Five chapters encompass in less than two hundred pages the four hundred years of Virginia's Church history. Bond is responsible for the first ("Colonial Origins and Growth" 1607-1760), third ("Evangelicals Ascendant" 1840-1865), and fifth ("Recent Crises" 1970 to the present) chapters, Gundersen for the second ("Like a Phoenix from the Ashes" 1760-1840) and fourth ("Reinventing Mission" 1865-1970). …

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