Prayer Book revision is focus of Historical Society’s summer journal

Historical Society of the Episcopal Church
Posted Jun 29, 2023

The Historical Society of the Episcopal Church is pleased to make its special issue on Prayer Book revision available to the church and the public. Anglican and Episcopal History is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal published since 1932.

Readers can enjoy 5 peer-reviewed essays, 2 church reviews, and 22 book reviews. The June issue of AEH is also the first to include “Engaged History,” a new feature examining ways Anglican and Episcopal communities are encountering once buried history.

Prayer book studies include:

  •  “Remembering Our Baptism: Memoir of a Continuing Project” by William H. Petersen. The emeritus dean of Bexley Hall Seminary examines the “sea-change” related to the liturgy and theology of Baptism that occurred between 1949 and 1979 while pondering ways lessons learned during earlier eras of liturgical renewal might influence work today.
  • Sylvia A. Sweeney, contributing editor of this issue is also professor of liturgics and homiletics at Bloy House in Los Angeles. She explores the understudied role of second wave feminism during development and ratification of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer in an essay titled “The Role of the 20th Century Women’s Movement in Liturgical Renewal in the Episcopal Church.”
  • Juan M.C. Oliver, Custodian of the Book of Common Prayer between 2015 and 2022, outlines challenges Anglicans face and suggests standards to consider when translating liturgical materials in “Liturgical Translations in the Episcopal Church.”
  • “The History of Liturgical Revision in the Church of England and Its Implications for The Episcopal Church” by Shawn Strout, assistant professor of worship and associate dean of chapel at Virginia Theological Seminary, contextualizes ways proposed changes to redefine the prayer book in Article X of the Constitution of the Episcopal Church mirrors earlier moves in the Church of England.
  • The final study offers 8 guiding principles to counter anti-Judaism in liturgy and worship. The essay titled “Talking About Jews: Principles, Problems, and Proposals for Prayer Book Revision” is written by Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, an Episcopal priest and the Kraft Family Professor and Director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College.

In addition to these 5 peer-reviewed essays, church reviews take readers to a Sunday worship service at St. Paul’s, Clifton, in the Church of England’s Diocese of Bristol and to an ecumenical retreat of Lutherans, Anglicans, and Roman Catholics in northern Michigan.

This issue of AEH launches the journal’s new “engaged history” feature. Engaged History refers to collaborative projects undertaken by Anglican and Episcopal institutions that confront buried historical narratives. Robert Black illustrates ways St. Luke’s Episcopal Parish in Salisbury, North Carolina, has engaged with the legacy of race and racism as a barrier to Christian mission. This includes commissioning a new Pentecost icon to better illustrate the Beloved Community “…as it includes people of different shapes, sizes, ages, genders, races, and abilities all gathered around a table and receiving the gift of the Spirit.”

As always, readers enjoy a treasure trove of book reviews related to church history and Anglican scholarship, including:

  • Privilege and Prophecy: Social Activism in the Post War Episcopal Church by Robert Tobin | Reviewed by John L. Kater of Church Divinity School of the Pacific
  • The Book of Common Prayer: A Guide by Charles Hefling | Reviewed by Sean Otto of the Anglican Diocese of Quebec
  • Mother Earth, Postcolonial and Liberation Theologies edited by Sophia Chirongoma and Esther Mombo | Reviewed by Carla E. Roland Guzmán of General Theological Seminary
  • Iris Murdoch and Others: A Writer in Dialogue with Theology by Paul S. Fiddes | Reviewed by Molly James of The Episcopal Church Center

Anglican and Episcopal History is published quarterly in March, June, September, and December. Full text articles are available through and for members of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church at