Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The Episcopal Story: Birth and Rebirth

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The Episcopal Story: Birth and Rebirth

Article excerpt

The Episcopal Story: Birth and Rebirth. By Thomas C. Ferguson. Church's Teachings for a Changing World: Volume 2. (New York: Morehouse Publishing, 2015, Pp. vii, 104. $14.00.)

If one were to judge a book by its cover, or in this case its size, one could be quite skeptical of how much history could actually be contained in a one-hundred-page book that is not quite seven inches tall. The size is misleading, for Ferguson does a masterful job of covering a sweep of Christian history, from the beginnings of the Christian church to the present clay, in a way that is insightful and engaging.

This book is the second volume of the Church's Teaching series, and it does just what one would want it to do. It offers a broad overview that serves as great introduction for those desiring to know more about church history. Ferguson also includes an excellent selection of recommendations for further reading, so the book can be a gateway to a deeper engagement with the history of our tradition. Part of what makes Ferguson's book so successful is his approach. He is not trying to ensure that his reader knows all the facts and details of church history. His book, while it starts in the first century and ends in the twenty-first, is not a narrative timeline of events. As the title suggests, it tells a story. Ferguson organizes his story around the themes of evolution and transformation, highlighting the pivotal moments in the development of Christianity. He packs a lot of information into twelve chapters and hits all the high points one would expect: Christianity as its own religion, doctrinal controversies, globalization and Christendom, Reformations, the development of Anglicanism, and the growth and transformation of the Episcopal Church. …

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