The Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer
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The Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer : A Worldwide Survey

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The Book of Common Prayer runs like a golden thread through the history of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer is the first comprehensive guide to the history and usage of the original Book of Common Prayer and its numerous descendants throughout the world. It shows how a seminal text for Christian worship and devotion has inspired a varied family of religious resources that have had an influence far beyond their use in the churches of a single tradition. The Guide is unique. In it, experts from every part of the globe and every branch of Anglicanism, as well as from the Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Methodist, and Unitarian traditions, provide an unparalleled examination of The Book of Common Prayer and its lineage. Much more than simply a history, this volume describes how Anglican churches at all points of the compass have developed their own Prayer Books and adapted the time-honored Anglican liturgies to their diverse local cultures. In the dozens of editions now in use throughout the world, the same texts-Daily Prayers, the Eucharist, Marriage and Funerals, and many others-resemble each other, and yet differ from each other in interesting ways. A brief look at "electronic Prayer Books" offers a glimpse at how this story of development and adaptation may continue in the Information Age. From 1549 to the twenty-first century, The Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer offers a fascinating journey through the history and development of a classic of world literature. "A wonderful and useful book. This book asks all the important questions and provides essential material for those who are looking for answers." -(The Rev.) Christopher Webber, The Living Church "It is well conceived physically, graced with both illustrations of historic prayer books and text boxes from the liturgies being discussed, which are a significant help to the reader. This authoritative guide to the Book of Common Prayer as it once was and has now become will well serve anyone interested in Anglicanism or the prayer book tradition." -Christian Century "The editors have assembled a roster of authors that is a veritable who's who among Anglican liturgical scholars. [They] have provided a service to the entire Communion by editing this worldwide survey of the Book of Common Prayer." -Frank C. Senn, Anglican Theological Review "Hefling and Shattuck have kept a tight hand; they have maintained narrative interest, eliminated overlaps, discreetly filled holes themselves. Excerpts from specimen prayers and documents are given in boxes on the page. In a big book, room has been found for thirty black-and-white illustrations, a chronology, a glossary, a bibliography, a good index, and a world map in the endpapers." -John Whale, Times Literary Supplement "Monumental and magnificent! This Guide makes clear why The Book of Common Prayer is both a religious and a literary masterpiece." -Phyllis Tickleshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 640 pages
  • 149.86 x 233.68 x 43.18mm | 839.14g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 30 halftones, 1 map
  • 0195297628
  • 9780195297621
  • 204,033

Review quote

"It is well conceived physically, graced with both illustrations of historic prayer books and text boxes from the liturgies being discussed, which are a significant help to the reader. This authoritative guide to the Book of Common Prayer as it once was and has now become will well serve anyone interested in Anglicanism or the prayer book tradition." --Christian Century"To understand the phenomenon of Anglicanism we need to understand the Prayer Book -- in its original setting and in its many transformations. I cannot think of a better and more comprehensive resource than this collection of expert discussions in helping us learn more of what Anglicanism has given to the literary heritage of Christianity and culture alike." --from the Foreword by the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury"Monumental and magnificent! This Guide makes clear why the Book of Common Prayer is both a religious and a literary masterpiece. To say any less than that of this volume would be to misrepresent it; to say more would be to diminish its stature." --Phyllis Tickle"Through the beauty of language, the Book of Common Prayer has nurtured a spirituality that has defined our very unity of faith and worship. The Oxford Guide is both timely and welcome. It takes us to the root of our common life and gives us a living word as we learn about liturgy, language, culture, tradition, and revision. I heartily commend it." --The Most Reverend Andrew S. Hutchinson, Archbishop and Primate, The Anglican Church of Canada"While the essays vary in length, all are thorough. The general quality of the writing and editing has made every page worth reading. It is a book that both teaches well and reads well." --Richard J. Anderson in Historiographershow more

Table of contents

Birth, History, and Use of the Prayer Book ; The Prayer Book Outside England ; 20th Century Prayer Books ; Family Portraits: International Prayer Books Today ; Worship in the Prayer Book ; The Future of the Book of Common Prayershow more

About Charles Hefling

Charles Hefling is Professor of systematic theology at Boston College, and ordained in the Episcopal Church, USA, and Cynthia Shattuck is Vice President and Editorial Director of Church Publishing, Morehouse, and Seabury Booksshow more

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48 ratings
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