Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What I've Been Doing

Becoming a Catholic Church: Designing a program for Anglican Catholic catechesis in a Kentucky congregation.

Saint Patrick’s is a recent church plant of the Anglican Mission in America. While some of its fifty members were previously members of the Episcopal Church, many were previously members of evangelical protestant denominations. Kentucky’s Bible Belt culture of anti-Roman Catholic rhetoric and pietistic revivalism presents particular challenges for Anglican formation. Because of their previous church experiences, many are caught between the false dichotomies of scriptural authority against tradition, extemporaneous worship against ritualism, and justification by faith against sacramentalism. After worshipping with the people of Saint Patrick’s Church for several months, I will in cooperation with the rector devise a small group teaching and discussion series that will expound the Anglican witness to the catholicity of the Church. The goal will be to offer Anglican identity as a way of being a “catholic Christian.” The series will focus on catholic ecclesiology, the role of sacred tradition, sacramental theology, and the practice of liturgy. Sessions will connect those layers of the Christian narrative to the congregation’s practices of worship, community life, spiritual formation, and mission. In my reflection, I will analyze participants’ beliefs about the Bible and tradition, the Eucharist, and their worship practices before and after the teaching series.

The bibliography will include but will not be limited to:

Oden, Thomas. The Rebirth of Orthodoxy.
Radner, Ephraim. Hope Among the Fragments: the Broken Church and its Engagement of Scripture.
Ramsey, Michael. The Gospel and the Catholic Church.
_____. The Anglican Spirit.
Reno, R. R. In the Ruins of the Church: Sustaining Faith in an Age of Diminished Christianity.
Sykes, Stephen, ed. The Study of Anglicanism.
Wilkin, Robert L. Remembering the Christian Past.
Williams, Rowan. Anglican Identities.

Questions, comments and suggestions are quite welcome.

Update: I should clarify that this bibliography is for my own conceptual work and the 7,000 word reflection paper I'll have to write on the experience. It's not the reading list for the little catechetical course, and I'm not sure I'll be asking participants to do any reading. Maybe selections from the Apostolic Fathers, who knows...


SaintSimon said...

I hope that you will succeed in forming a united community that is able to engage thorny issues frankly without factionalism and division. It may be necesary for you to learn as well as teach, and to re-evaluate your own views just as much as you expect tem to re-evaluate their own. Yes you have some good books, but there are also sound believers who walk in the opposite direction. So, God bless you as you take on a difficult task!

Kyle said...

Well said, Simon. I agree. :0) Thanks.

Chris Kan said...

Hi there
How about some of the Liturgical work by Dix, or Eric Mascal's sacramental writing?
A lot of the devotional stuff by Rowan Williams is very fine too!
Sounds like a great idea!

Phil Snider said...


What is your audience, particularly how comfortable are they with fairly heavy theological works? I ask because, while I think your choices are excellent authors, I'm not sure how accessible they are to anyone who hasn't studied theology. I'm thinking especially about the Radner, which is NOT an easy read. I'm not sure about Oden, but the rest are fine, I think. Still, I think that is a question you need to ask yourself in putting together the course.


Kyle said...

Thanks, Chris and Phil!

I'm not familiar with Mascal at all, but I'll look him up. I need to see if Williams' Wound of Knowledge or book on the Desert Fathers will help me out here.

Haha, my attempts to read Radner so far have been a bit stunted. I don't mean for my audience to read these, but they're my resources in putting this together. They're going to be ordinary parishioners (what the heck is that, anyway?) and I don't think I'll ask them to read anything except perhaps a few interesting patristic excerpts, or a few entire letters from the Apostolic Fathers.


Anonymous said...

Oop, Kyle,
Per our previous correspondance the essay by Florovsky is in the first volume of his collected works:
"Bible, Church, Tradition: an Eastern Orthodox View"

The essay itself is "The Function of Tradition in the Ancient Church"

Bobby J. Kennedy said...

I recommend the "Catholic Religion" by Vernon Staley and anything by Francis J. Hall like "Theological Outlines". "Uncommon Sense" by Homer Rogers and "Faith and Practice" by Frank Wilson are good works. I am using them in a small group setting as some of my basic sources to introduce the Catholic faith.

Anonymous said...

What about E.L. Mascall 'Corpus Christi' and John Macquarrie 'A Guide to the Sacraments' and his excellent 'Paths in Spirituality'.


Kyle said...

I'll look at those - thank you.