THE SACRAMENT OF EASTER, Roger Greenacre and Jeremy Haselock, Gracewing, Leominster, 1989, second edition 1995, 178 pages. ISBN 0-85244-134-7.
THIS excellent book, The Sacrament of Easter, Roger Greenacre tells us in his introduction, began life over 30 years ago as a series of Lent talks, later published by the Faith Press, with the encouragement of Eric Mascall and Ronald Jasper. A substantial rework of this material became necessary not least because of the rapid changes overtaking both Roman Catholic and Anglican provision for Lent, Holy Week and Easter. At that point, Jeremy Haselock became co-author.
Remarkably, this book by two Anglican priests – a book now in its second edition – was endorsed by both Bishop Colin James, the Chairman of the Church of England Liturgical Commission, and Bishop Thomas McMahon, Chairman of Liturgy, for the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. As well as the Roman Catholic consultant, the Revd David Manson, and other Anglicans, the authors consulted Jewish and Orthodox experts.
Characteristic of the book is its careful analysis of rite (what is said) and ceremony (what is done). Liturgical texts are examined historically, theologically and spiritually. Ceremonial is discussed in a style quite unlike that of a manual. The book moves swiftly to and fro from the Old Testament to the New, from Judaism to Christianity, from the Fathers to the modern period, from Jerusalem to Rome, and from Catholicism to Orthodoxy. The pages are quickened by story and symbol which readily leap from the page into the imagination of the reader. In spite of its learning, the book is accessible. It would make a very good Lent book for the clergy as they prepare to celebrate the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter: perhaps as a liturgical foil to von Balthasar’s Mysterium Paschale.
It is not readily apparent what changes there are, apart from the colour of the cover, in the second edition. There is no new introduction and no change in the pagination. This is scarcely surprising because there has been little or no movement in the provision for Holy Week and Easter these last six years. Whilst it would not be a good idea to buy the second edition if one already owned the first, the publishers are to be congratulated for ensuring the continuing popularity of the book by producing this second edition. There is likely to be considerable movement in the provision for Lent, Holy Week and Easter in the coming years, as new Anglican and Roman Catholic texts appear. May we look forward to a substantially revised third edition in 2001?
Andrew Burnham teaches liturgy at St Stephen’s House, Oxford.
THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY, ed. Michael Watts, Gracewing, Leominster, 1993, 195 pages, ISNB 0 85244 240 8
THE SOCIETY for the Maintenance of the Faith (known not least for its role as patron of many livings) very imaginatively produced this anthology as a response to the crisis in the Catholic movement brought about by the decision in 1992 to ordain women to the priesthood. Free copies were sent to diocesan `Forward in Faith’ representatives and others to provide the debate – or, as some would have it, the wake – with an intelligent commentary.
The contributors speak with authority. Geoffrey Rowell and Gillian Evans discuss tradition and authority, Edward Yarnold and Edward Knapp-Fisher impaired communion and ecumenism. Lynne Leeder and John Rees take us through the legislation and the legality of alternative episcopal oversight. The other contributors are Bishop Eric Kemp, who wrote the preface, Margaret Laird, Peter Newman Brooks, Robert Hannaford, Hugh Craig and Christine Hall. Michael Watts, secretary of the SMF, comments on the Manchester Statement, finding in its use of `communion’ an echo of Humpty Dumpty’s remark to Alice: `When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less’.
Alice and Humpty Dumpty appear on the front cover giving the title `Through a Glass Darkly’ a double meaning. Has the General Synod turned St Paul’s glass (I Corinthians 13) into Lewis Carroll’s looking glass? Are we refashioning things spiritual in our own image by not peering beyond the reflection of our own lives and times into the eternal beyond?
This book accordingly provides a useful critique of part of the havoc that liberalism has caused and considers the crisis in which we presently find ourselves. There is an index, a note on the contributors and no less than five appendices. These provide a consideration of the Coronation Oath by David Samuel, the Coronation Oath itself, correspondence between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope (1988), Orthodox and Anglican positions on the ordination of women to the priesthood (Anglican-Orthodox Joint Doctrinal Commission, 1978), and the House of Bishops Manchester Statement (1993).
Through a Glass Darkly will have a permanent place in the documentation of the crisis but already we have passed from the sense of heightened reality which accompanies sudden bereavement to the dull and depressing days which can follow, months and years later. The dullness and depression is greatly alleviated by the continuing faithfulness of many traditionalist parishes and by the energy and quality of the oversight provided by the flying bishops. Such oversight, not seen for centuries, is as big a gift to the Church Catholic as the diaconate of women might have been, had it not been ruined by liberal impatience to chase secularism.
What Through a Glass Darkly conceals is the dangerously low level of Anglican theological expertise. The Society for the Maintenance of the Faith has brought together a number of distinguished contributors, half a dozen of whom are practising academics. Would that these were chosen from a large field! The field is small and getting smaller and the challenge to the Catholic movement in the Church of England is, not least, speedily to improve its theological base.
Andrew Burnham teaches at St Stephen’s House, Oxford.
MARGINAL CATHOLICS, Ivan Clutterbuck, Gracewing, Leominster, 1993. pbk. xi+281 pages. ISBN 0-85244-234-3.
WOULD Anglo-Catholics of 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 years ago have been happy to be called `Marginal Catholics’? The answer is most certainly not. 30 years ago the Archbishop of Canterbury was an Anglo-Catholic. That, if only we had known it, was to be the high point of the movement in the twentieth century. Yet my question is not merely about strength. It is also about identity.
The Anglo-Catholics in the England of the 1920s through to the 1950s – and many well beyond then – would have proudly called themselves `Mainstream Catholics’. As catholics they would be members of the most (only?) authentic tradition of Anglicanism. As members of the Church of England they would be (the only?) regular members of the Catholic Church in England. `Marginal’ would not have been a description they would have given themselves, though it may have been a convenient insult for their detractors to have used. It was other Anglicans, after all, observing Anglo-Catholics processing around in the borrowed clothes of ultramontane Roman Catholicism who might have called them `marginal’. Now it is an adjective most Anglo-Catholics would readily accept.
Part of the reason for this marginalization is the very success of Anglo-Catholicism, most of whose more sensible doctrinal and ceremonial emphases have long been incorporated into mainstream Anglicanism. One thinks of the centrality of the Eucharist and the importance of spiritual direction, candles on `the altar’, the mixed chalice, coloured stoles, and the rest. Another reason, of course, has been sociological. With the collapse of Empire and a new social pluralism, Anglicans have had to form new relationships with other Christians. Though there are no doubt still a few Anglo-Catholics who view `aunty’ in England as `the Italian/Polish Mission to Ethic Minorities’, and the Pope as the patriarch of an erring church with ideas above his station, most, obliged by Vatican II and ARCIC to review their position, have gladly changed their minds.
Clutterbuck gives us the background to all this in a racy and enjoyable account. Ordained priest for well over 50 years, he has a long memory. Calling the parts of his book `Forenoon’, `High Noon’ and `Afternoon’, he attempts to give a new version following two books with which he finds himself in disagreement. One is W S F Pickering’s Anglo-Catholicism, A Study in Religious Ambiguity (SPCK 1989), the other is Francis Penhale’s Catholics in Crisis (Mowbray, 1986). It has to be said that both these books, when they came out, seemed to upset Anglo-Catholics, challenging the complacency of some and causing others to go back behind the barricades of the ghetto. Though Clutterbuck is writing after the crisis moment of 1992, he nonetheless manages to find more positive things to say than Pickering and Penhale. For all that, his final chapter, `Over the Edge’, frankly faces a future which, for Anglo-Catholicism, is very uncertain. After mentioning Newman’s famous 1876 remark about `so many good people who are shivering at our gates’, Clutterbuck leaves us with the welcome being given to Anglo-Catholics by the Roman Catholic bishops of England and Wales.
`I hope I have shown’, writes Clutterbuck, `that Anglo-Catholics will not enter the gates of Rome empty handed. They will bring courage in a quest for holiness, a concern for sound teaching and a passion for mission. All are essential qualities for the conversion of this country to the Christian faith’. Many readers of NEW DIRECTIONS (though by no means all) will hope that those essential qualities will rejuvenate the Catholic movement of the Church of England.
Andrew Burnham is Vice-Principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford.
THE LIFE AND WORK OF JOHN MASON NEALE Michael Chandler
“Michael Chandler’s comprehensive treatment of Neale combines a sympathetic understanding of his principles with a critical detachment…important reading for all those interested in Victorian Anglo-Catholicism” Church Times
Paperback £12.99 0 85244 305 6
A TACTFUL GOD: Gregory Dix, Priest, Monk and Scholar Simon Bailey
”…beautifully written, and a substantial contribution to both the history of Anglicanism and the story of its most well- known liturgiologist” New Directions
Paperback £12.99 0 85244 304 8
THE DEVIL IS A JACKASS Edited by Leo Madigan
A new edition of the classic autobiographical writings of Archbishop Ullathorne, missionary priest and Vicar General in New South Wales and first Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Birmingham.
Paperback £15.99 0 85244 251 3
JOHN BIRD SUMNER : Evangelical Archbishop Nigel Scotland
Born in 1780 by the time of his death in 1862 John Bird Sumner had not only become the first Evangelical Archbishop of Canterbury, but as Archbishop of Chester had presided over the most rapid period of urbanisation and industrialisation in Britain’s history. Paperback £12.99 0 85244 246 7
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SARABAND : The Memoirs of E L Mascall Few can doubt the extraordinary impact that the writing of E L Mascall had on theologians and the general reader, here he turns his considerable resources to the writing of his own life.
Hardback rrp £17.99 Special offer £13.99 0 85244 222 X
MAN, WOMAN AND PRIESTHOOD Bishop Graham Leonard, Mary Kenny and others At last a well argued and reasoned defence of the doctrine of an exclusively male priesthood from contributors draw from across the spectrum of Christian churches.
Paperback rrp £9.99 Special Offer £3.99 0 85244 162 2
THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY: A Crisis Considered Edited by Michael Watts
A group of distinguished contributors examine the constitutional, doctrinal, historical, legal, moral and political implications of the General Synod’s decision to ordain women to the priesthood.
Paperback rrp £9.99 Special offer £6.99 0 85244 240 8
THE SPIRITUAL QUEST OF FRANCIS WAGSTAFFE Edited by Toby Forward and David Johnson
An archive of correspondence with Anglican bishops and other members of the establishment – not since Henry Root has any collection of letters been so revealing.
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BOOKS FOR LENT
THE SACRAMENT OF EASTER New Edition Roger Greenacre and Jeremy Haselock
“The Sacrament of Easter is full of the history of spiritual wisdom… It would be hard to find a more appropriate and exciting seasonal reading” Fr Edward Yarnold, The Tablet
Paperback £9.99 0 85244 134 7
THE OPEN TOMB : Meditations for Lent and Easter Eugen Drewermann Ideal as a stimulating new resource for Lenten study and reflection.
Paperback £8.99 0 85244 227 0
New Titles from Paulist Press
A TIME TO TURN…THE PASCHAL EXPERIENCE
Anita M. Constance
A collection of poetic prayer meditations beginning with Ash Wednesday.
Paperback £4.99 0 8091 3613 9
FAITH WALKERS – Passages of Suffering and Hope Joseph F. Nassal
A collection of spiritual reflections, true stories, and prayers structured around the Stations of the Cross.
Paperback £4.99 0 8091 3627 9
Gracewing, 2 Southern Avenue, Leominster HR6 0QF Tel: 01568 616835 Fax: 01568 613289
A SPEAKING LIFE: THE LEGACY OF JOHN KEBLE Ed: Charles R. Henery Foreword by Owen Chadwick Gracewing, Fowler Wright Books, 1995. xvii + 149pp.pbk: IBSN 0-85244 2637
THESE ESSAYS by English and American scholars, dedicated to Michael Ramsey, reassess the centrality of Keble and his continued influence in the development of Anglicanism. For Owen Chadwick Keble embodied the best in Anglican pastoral and priestly ideals that raised the standards of worship, prayer, and pastoral care, in and beyond Anglicanism.
The Introduction sketches Keble’s American connections and states that Keble’s inspiration as the original source and real spirit of the Oxford Movement was rooted in the conviction that the catholic and apostolic faith was the primitive foundation of the Church of England that was reaffirmed in the First Lambeth Conference (1867).
Geoffrey Rowell contributes three framed portraits, the priest, the pastor, the poet. This priest’s frame is the changing political and social scene, the condition of the C of E, the influence of the High Church Tradition and family background. What makes Keble a ‘speaking life’, is a quality of personality close to his priesthood which Pusey describes as ‘meekness’, ‘a grace formed by suffering’. Influenced by Caroline theology, especially Hooker and Hammond, a sense of the Fathers and Councils, he opposes apostolicity to Erastianism and liberalism. The essay traces how Keble’s understanding of apostolic ministry affected his pastoral practice, his understanding of the nature of priesthood, sacraments, prayer and holiness. The pastor, shaped by his father, rooted his parish in church principles, Tractarian priorities and used daily Thomas Wilson’s Devotions. He combined a sharp intellect with a reserve and humility central to his character. His Letters of Spiritual Guidance and Counsel, show the spiritual director who could find even in the ‘trivial’ and ‘common’ a road to God. The Caroline influence is evident in his commending of sacramental confession, frequent communion catechetical work and care of the sick. The poet’s portrait is framed in the rediscovery by the Tractarians of the symbolic, sacramental, and imaginative character of the Christian revelation. Dr. Rowell illustrates the connections between Keble’s poetic soul and the Hebrew scholar, sensitive to the contrast between the more concrete and pictorial Hebrew thought and the abstraction of Greek theology, medieval and Protestant scholasticism and the connection between prophecy and poetry. Thus was he enabled to transform the ethos of the Church of England. The Priest in Anglicanism by J.Robt. Wright considers Keble’s legacy of priesthood. This consists in the particular priestly life he lived and in the doctrine of priesthood sketched in his poetical and theological writing. In Keble’s doctrine (Lyra Innocentium, 1843), influenced by Hooker, but also Henry Hammond and the discovery of the Ignatian Epistles, episcopal ordination is essential. Wright expounds the Anglican doctrinal tradition on priesthood as originating from the earliest existence of Christianity in “Angle-land”, the patristic era. His central concern is to demonstrate a consistency of doctrine about priesthood that is consonant with the main line of catholic teaching, patristic in origin, and taking shape when England was giving birth to what would, after 1838, be called Anglicanism. Gordon Wakefield’s, The Pastor in Anglicanism, traces, historically and critically, the Anglican pastoral tradition. Baxter, Herbert, the influence of the schoolmen on the 17th century casuists, Jeremy Taylor, Keble, King and the influence of J.J. Blunt’s The Duties of the Parish Priest, The fundamental principle of this tradition is that the priest’s ministry is for all, and he is to say his prayers, read his Bible and love his people. Today’s problems, the Bible and criticism, identity crisis, charismatic renewal, secularisation, the pastor no longer the persona of the community, bio-ethics and sexuality, complicate this tradition. Keble’s patronage of the visual arts is the starting point of Thomas Jones’s essay Anglicanism and the Visual Arts. Consideration of artworks and comments from Anglican writers on art, preceded more detailed examination on what is exemplary in church commissions today. Henry Moore, Walter Hussey, Bishop George Bell and Eric Newton are there.
This is a moving and inspiring book, a springboard to further reading.
Arthur Middleton is Rector of Boldon, in the diocese of Durham
Saraband : The Memoirs of E.L. Mascall. Gracewing/Fowler Wright Books. First published 1992, Reprinted 1995. x + 392pp. ISBN 0 85244 222 X
THIS IS A MEMOIR not an autobiography and is about what the author remembers rather than about his life. But the life is the “string” tying together a “bundle” of thirteen chapters with a Forward and an Epilogue. The “string” stretches from the more certain and larger world of Britain before World War I, to the smaller, more inter-dependent and uncertain world of the 1990s. Few living today will have seen so many shattering upheavals, such technological progress and its effects on human life. Dr. Mascall’s “receptive and retentive mind” has enabled him to recall and comment with clarity and wit, on a rich and varied human experience graced by divinity.
Chapters 1-5 trace his origin, background, and education as mathematician at Cambridge. Doubts about truths of religion were resolved and he moved from a low-church background to become a convinced Catholic within the Church of England. After schoolmastering he seeks ordination and training at Ely Theological College. All of his working life was spent in the academy but without any tension between the academic and the churchman. A Thomist in philosophy, a remarkable scholar and theologian, he never forgot he was a priest. There is an abundance of personal reminiscences of people and places from his days in Cambridge, Lincoln, Oxford and London. In this vanished world, the scholar, ecclesiastic and eccentric are often found merged in one person.
Readers familiar with people or names will be amused by particular reminiscences, which Fr. Mascall says, he was concerned would not offend or embarrass a memory.
In Ch.7 the glimpses of Four Outstanding Priests (Dom Gregory Dix, OSB, Fr. Gabriel Hebert, SSM, Fr. Lionel Thornton, CR, and the parish priest Canon Charles Hutchinson) give unique insights into the heroic days of catholic Anglicanism. The three monks made a theological impact, Fr. Hutchinson was a great priest and pastor. Mascall’s involvement with the Fellowship of St.Alban and St. Sergius will interest members, as will the substantial treatment of his relations with Orthodoxy and the Rumanian visit in 1937. So too will his agreement to differ with his friends Vladimir Lossky and Herbert Hodges. It was a Greek Orthodox theologian who advised this reviewer to collect Fr. Mascall’s books before they disappeared. Saraband tells the story about how these books came about, of how He Who Is was typed up on an old borrowed typewriter. It illuminates too the author’s intention in writing them and the reactions and responses they caused. Mascall’s travels on the international scene take the reader into the wider Anglican Communion and his ecumenical encounters.
This book is the distillation of a life full of scholarship, erudition and laughter, written by one who was a master of the telling sentence and the apt phrase in more languages than one. For those who are already his admirers it might prove a most welcome gift… and become a favoured companion.
Arthur Middleton is Rector of Boldon in the diocese of Durham.
Man, Woman & Priesthood Ed. James Tolhurst. Gracewing/Fowler Wright Books 1989, xvi + 225pp. ISBN 0 85244 162 2 This is an ecumenical mix. Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, Presbyterian theologians, and the writer Mary Kenny, unite in arguing that women should not be priests, though not against the ministry of women. Professor James Packer weaves four strands into his argument, the authority of scripture, the knowledge of Christ, the understanding of humanness and the character of the Church. Fr. Graham Leonard writes as an Anglican on The Priesthood of Christ. His first point is that we live in a society where people must have what they want whatever the cost. Secondly, this leads to polarisation so that qualities in human nature that should be held in complementarity are separated and seen in isolation. Everything becomes an either/or rather than a both/and. He traces this in the life of society and the Church. Thirdly, the common rejection of ontology results in its replacement by functionalism. It is only what people do that matters not what they are and this fosters an unwillingness to face reality, the isness of things. But if we are to understand the Christian Gospel it is essential to consider ‘being’ before considering ‘action’. What we are as Christians is by grace and is not because of what a person does. Fourthly, the nature and purpose of the sacraments is obscured by an attitude that emphasises an interior attitude necessary if grace is to bear fruit. With these considerations in mind he then turns to an exposition of the high priesthood of Christ in Hebrews, in I Peter 2 vv 5 & 9 and I Cor. 10, 16. Arguing that the Church is constituted by the sacrifice of Christ the High Priest and that it is through Baptism and Eucharist that the Church is constituted because it is dependent on Christ. Therefore it is the Lord’s Church belonging to him and not to the members. So they cannot adapt it to suit their own desires. Joyce Smith’s essay, Women and Ordination examines three major arguments in support of women’s ordination and the reasons why these arguments fail to reflect catholic teaching on the priesthood and the catholic understanding of human sexuality. Secondly, she examines the radically opposed visions of reality which underlie catholicism and feminism. thirdly, she turns to a brief consideration of the nature and importance of the role of women in the Church. Andrew McGowan in Women Elders claims he does not believe in any priesthood male of female, but only Christ’s. Women’s ordination in Presbyterianism happens in two sphere, in the eldership and in the ministry. His sole argument is the authority of the Bible and has two main strands. First, the relation of man and woman in the created order. Secondly, The teaching of the New Testament as to who may hold office in the Church. He considers the response of those who reject such biblical authority, and those who accept it but reject his interpretation of how it relates to this particular issue. His own responses to such disagreement are next considered before discussing why he will not compromise principle for ecclesiastical reasons. Furthermore he is not prepared to leave the Church of Scotland because he has not erred but the Church has erred from God’s Word. John Tolhurst in Man, Woman & Priesthood, traces the emancipation of women before making the point that to argue theologically for a true role for women, any taint of sexual discrimination must be abandoned. Arguing from differences of the sexes he quotes Lehmann’s claim that there is biological-psychological evidence for a substantial difference between the sexes. These differences cannot be reduced to socially enforced historico-culturally developed roles. Diminishment of differences in one sex destroys the capacity for complementarity. He then surveys the biblical evidence on the differentiation of the sexes in the light of Christ before considering Christian priesthood. He claims that extant evidences for the ordination of women are limited or have not lasted. It is impossible to prove that Jesus’s choice of men as apostles was inspired by social and cultural reasons alone. He then turns to the witness of the early Church, the Sign of Priest and the vocation of Christ to man and woman. The issue touches something fundamental concerning the nature of man and woman, claims Tolhurst, and this is not something merely sociological or psychological but issues from the perspective of the Incarnation. Roman Cholij writes on Considerations from the eastern Churches on Women and Priesthood. This is an integrated exposition of male priesthood that is rooted in Scripture and Tradition, an understanding of the Church as mystery and the fact that the sacramental priesthood is Christ’s, the witness of the Fathers and the iconic nature of priesthood in its liturgical role. A conclusion examines the Theotokos and the role of women in the Church. Mary Kenny, the RC writer, claims in her essay, Reflections of Feminism and Christianity, that Christianity was initially an advance for women. So many of the ideas condemned by feminists were not particular to the Christian tradition but had a certain universality in many cultures. To criticise the Fathers for their harsh views on female sexuality does not take account that often their strong-minded mothers had first inspired their Christianity. These mothers actually encouraged them to make these attitudes, and the women to whom they preached actually approved. Did the Christian Church really impart so much guilt towards sexuality? Or was the early Church reacting against the decadence and excesses of a Roman Empire in decline, loathing what this permissive society had done to the appetites of men and how licentiousness exploited women, debauched young people, made people unhappy and attacked the basis of society. In their prudishness the early Christians gained the approval of women and the mothers of these early Fathers were the Mary Whitehouses of their day. Decent Christian women thought that all the porn had got out of hand. Her point is that throughout the Christian era Christianity is a religion that women related to and in which they expressed their own spirituality fulsomely. She refrains from making a theological judgement but defers to the Vatican maxim that only after centuries rather than decades can matters of such importance be evaluated. An Appendix provides some useful ecumenical documents relating to this issue. It will be asked why publish these essays after 1993? After the fever of the debate a normal temperature will be helpful to considering theological arguments that were supplanted by the political and sociological. Even the filioque clause is up for reconsideration so why not women priests. The debate has only begun. Arthur Middleton, Rector of Boldon