The sign outside the conservative, white church in the small southern U.S. town announces that the church is part of the Episcopal Church--of Rwanda. In Anglican Communion in Crisis, Miranda Hassett tells the fascinating story of how a new alliance between conservative American Episcopalians and African Anglicans is transforming conflicts between American Episcopalians--especially over homosexuality--into global conflicts within the Anglican church.
In the mid-1990s, conservative American Episcopalians and Anglican leaders from Africa and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere began to forge ties in opposition to the American Episcopal Church's perceived liberalism and growing toleration of homosexuality. This resulted in dozens of American Episcopal churches submitting to the authority of African bishops.
Based on wide research, interviews with key participants and observers, and months Hassett spent in a southern U.S. parish of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda and in Anglican communities in Uganda, Anglican Communion in Crisis is the first anthropological examination of the coalition between American Episcopalians and African Anglicans. The book challenges common views--that the relationship between the Americans and Africans is merely one of convenience or even that the Americans bought the support of the Africans. Instead, Hassett argues that their partnership is a deliberate and committed movement that has tapped the power and language of globalization in an effort to move both the American Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion to the right.
"Hassett...has written a fascinating book that studies the strong relationship which has developed between the conservative wing of the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Africa. Hassett did her research at St. Timothy's Church, located in the southeaster US, and in the Church of Uganda...This book is an excellent analysis of the current division within Anglicanism, the significance of the partnership between conservative Episcopalians and African Anglicans, and the consequences for the Anglican Communion."--R.M. Kollar, Choice
"Miranda Hassett tells the story of the emergence of an alliance between conservative American Episcopalians and African Anglicans. The book describes...how certain Episcopalian conservatives [reached] out to Southern leaders, how they developed networks, shared concerns, and planned strategies to ensure that a conservative resolution on human sexuality would be passed. There is a fascinating chapter on the part played by money, power, and influence in the new alliance. Any bishop...struggling to understand the future of the Communion would benefit from reading Hassett's fascinating and well-written book."--Mary Tanner, Church Times
"[An] evenhanded, informative and wholly admirable book. Hassett has provided not only a measured, balanced and sober account of a sometimes mystifying sequence of events, but also a brilliant study of the complexities and surprises of globalization."--Sam Wells, Christian Century
"In an era in which those involved in the debates over theology and morality in the Anglican Communion increasingly rely upon caricature and overly simple explanations, Anglican Communion in Crisis stands out for its closely argued, nuanced discussions and its unwillingness to follow any single party line. [T]his is a book that deserved to be read by anyone with a serious interest in the current state of the Anglican Communion."--Robert W. Prichard, The Weekly Standard
Table of Contents:
INTRODUCTION: A Communion in Crisis? 1
CHAPTER ONE: Renewal and Conflict: The Episcopal Church and the Province of Uganda 23
CHAPTER TWO: Taking Africa Seriously: The Globalization of Conservative Episcopalians 47
CHAPTER THREE: "White Hands Up!" Lambeth 1998 and the Global Politics of Homosexuality 71
CHAPTER FOUR: From African/Asian Juggernaut to Global Orthodox Majority 102
CHAPTER FIVE: "At Home in Kigali": Transnational Relationships and Domestic Dissent 130
CHAPTER SIX: "Who Wants to Be in the Ugandan Communion?" Perceptions of African and American Christianity 167
CHAPTER SEVEN: Integrity for Sale? Money and Asymmetry in Transnational Anglican Alliances 208
CHAPTER EIGHT: The Next Anglicanism? Conclusions and Implications 242