Seminaries Catching Anglican Studies Bug?

Jan 23, 2021 by

by James Diddams, Juicy Ecumenism:

Much has been written on the trend of non-denominational Evangelical Protestants finding their way into liturgical expressions of Christianity including Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy.

For example, in 1989 Robert Webber wrote Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail: Why Evangelicals Are Attracted to the Liturgical Church and in 2019 Winfield Bevins released Ever Ancient, Ever New: The Allure of Liturgy for a New Generation. Despite being written 30 years apart both these books chronicle the same phenomenon: a genuine interest among young people in a different form of worship than the smoke and light filled Sunday morning Christian rock concerts that are expected.

Articles with headlines like “Twentysomethings are flocking to Anglo-Catholic services for traditional worship with not a tambourine in sight” from The Times in 2019 or “Liturgy-hungry young Christians trade altar calls for Communion rails” in Religion News Service are also examples. Some who feel this pull towards a more traditional faith ultimately become Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic, like Rod Dreher of The Benedict Option fame, or Elizabeth Breunig of the New York Times.

For some Americans, Anglicanism (known as the via media or middle way between Catholicism and Protestantism) provides an increasingly attractive option for those hungering for a deeper sense of history and liturgy. This trend is not all-encompassing, of course, and in terms of overall numbers there are many more young people leaving Christianity than transitioning to a more historically rooted form of it. But, while much has certainly been written on the changes parishioners have been undergoing, what’s been less publicized is an increasing shift in the form of Christianity American pastors are pursuing.

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