Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Living Faithfully as a Prayer Book People

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Living Faithfully as a Prayer Book People

Article excerpt

Living Faithfully as a Prayer Book People. By John H. Westerhoff III. Harrisburg, Pa.: Morehouse, 2004. 131 pp. $14.95 (paper).

"It is not easy to define an Episcopalian," writes John Westerhoff in the opening sentence of his new book. Our one outstanding characteristic is that we are a people shaped by our common prayer, says Westerhoff, and this volume is his personal attempt to share how the 1979 Book of Common Prayer has stimulated and informed his thinking about Christian life and faith.

The book gives an excellent overview of various topics relevant to understanding the Anglican way of being Christian-including an explication of healthy ritual, a brief review of church history, a discussion of the Bible as a "love story between God and humanity," and sections on the specifics of Holy Week liturgies, lectio divina, living into baptism, and a eucharistie life.

While Westerhoff suggests that the book's target audience include laypersons and clergy as well as new and lifelong Episcopalians, the neophyte will probably find Living Faithfully the most useful. The chapters on baptism and eucharist not only review the basic structure of those rites, but they also provide helpful suggestions for ongoing intentional formation and critical reflection. …

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