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Anglican Futures: Anglican Alphabet Spaghetti

Anglican Futures Anglican Alphabetti Spaghetti A dummies guide to the plethora of organisations and acronyms linked to faithful Anglicans in the UK and Europe. I once spent some time around military personel.  Everything had its own TLA (Three Letter Acronym) right...

Canterbury Tales: Favourite Bible Stories Retold by Archbishop Justin Welby

Canterbury Tales Favourite Bible stories retold by Archbishop Justin Welby The Good Samaritan A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead, halfway...

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) met in Synod on 18 June.  While there, they elected two suffragan bishops to aid Bishop Andy Lines in providing episcopal oversight for the overall work.  Bishop Lines also...

Pride Flags Causing Conflict at Christian School

Pride Flags Cause Conflict at Christian School Conflict has broken out in a Christian school in Oxfordshire over the display of “Pride” flags. The institution in question is Kingham Hill School.  The same Trust (Kingham Hill Trust) oversees Oak Hill College, an...

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers The Prayer Book Society, which will soon celebrate its 50th Anniversary, is raising funds to put a special edition BCP into the hands of junior choristers around the nation.   The idea came to...

Book Review: Reimagining Britain by Justin Welby

Reimagining Britain Foundations for Hope Justin Welby Bloomsbury, 2018, new edn. 2021 (ISBN: 978-1-4729-8497-5, 322pp, £12.99) The Archbishop of Canterbury has made several notable political interventions recently, including over ‘partygate’ and the Rwanda deportation...

Birthday of Anglicanism in America

Birthday of Anglicanism in America By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins June 16, 1607 was the birthday of Anglicanism in America. On this day Captain John Smith and 104 others celebrated the Lord’s Supper when they arrived safely in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was the...

Barnabas Fund Report: Two ChiBok Girls Found

Barnabas Fund Reports Two Chibok Girls Found After 8 Years 24 June 2022 Two women, who were among hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok eight years ago, have been found. Hauwa Joseph was discovered among a group of other...

New Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Church of Ireland News New Bishop Elected for Cashel, Ferns & Ossory The Church of Ireland diocese of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory now has a bishop-elect.  The Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross was elected to succeed the Rt Revd Michael...

Editorial: Lessons to be Learned from the American Pro-Life Movement

Editorial Lessons to be Learned from American Pro-Life Movement Friday, 24 June 2022, the Feast of St John the Baptist, will be a date which will live in infamy amongst the supporters of abortion.  On that date, the US Supreme Court, overturned the precedent set by...

Book Review: The Soul of the American University Revisited, From Protestant to Postsecular

The Soul of the American University Revisited

From Protestant to Postsecular

George M. Marsden

Oxford University Press, 2021 (ISBN: 9780197607244, 477pp, £81)

George Marsden’s 1994 Soul of the American University was a landmark volume documenting and assessing the religious character of North American colleges. A generation later, and the same author now offers his updated and revised take on the same subject. Although much material remains similar, the whole work has been streamlined and refined with the benefit of Marsden’s mature thought. Moreover, the new challenge of the ‘postsecular’ environment has prompted important re-evaluations.

Marsden is deft in his use of micro-historical episodes to expose cultural phenomena and trends. Three opening vignettes from Yale in the 1950s, 1890s, and 1880s whet the reader’s appetite for the discourse which follows. We are then treated to a work which few other living writers could achieve, marrying as it does Marsden’s depth of insight on topics as diverse as scholasticism, Puritanism, colonial and academic government, and postmodernism. The selection of Yale in particular as an indicant of American scholarly spirit is judicious given its role with Harvard in setting the tone of university life on the continent, and in the influential early tensions between New and Old Lights. 

The significance for the world in general of intellectual life in the American colonies has been previously remarked upon in this column (see EC8084). Insofar as the colleges have provided much of the firepower behind this life, Marsden’s masterful exposition of their evolving spiritual character is a contribution of the first importance. The sustained easy readability of the text further reflects on the success of this revision.

Edward Keene, Little Shelford

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