Oxford University Press in the United Kingdom has agreed to publish a five volume series called The Oxford History of Anglicanism.
Series editor Rowan Strong, who is Professor of Church History at Murdoch University, said this was the first time in its five centuries of publishing that Oxford University Press has agreed to such an extensive history of one Christian denomination.
“We are examining a religious identity that has been very contested over its history and has had a big impact, both positively and negatively, on many international societies and historical periods,” Professor Strong said.
“This project will give the Anglican Communion, scholars, and general readers a critical knowledge of its identity and demonstrate its extraordinary influence in societies around the world.”
The scope of the project will be wide-ranging, covering all aspect of the Anglican tradition.
Professor Strong is leading a team of more than 100 leading international scholars, from five continents, and will encompass a wide range of fields well beyond the institutional history of the Anglican Church.
In addition to the history of that Church throughout the world and over the past five centuries, historical investigation will look at art, music, architecture, politics, gender, mission, empire, inter-faith encounters and many other aspects of the multi-faceted history of this global phenomenon.
It will be interesting to see the outcome of this project. Anglicanism is a tradition that deserves this kind of comprehensive examination. The Anglican Communion is neither a “church” nor a “denomination” (as the news release states) a gathering of separate churches with a common and complex heritage, and that Anglicanism can be seen a strand of Christianity, alongside Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. I hope that the work also includes those strands of Anglicanism that are not a formal part of the Anglican Communion.