Looking for recommended resources to learn more about Anglicanism?
You’ve come to the right place!
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Seriously, if you’re reading Anglican Pastor, and you have not yet read The Anglican Way by Fr. Thomas McKenzie, then I want you to stop what you’re doing and read this book ASAP.
This is the first book I read when I was becoming an Anglican, and I know of no better, accessible, all-in-one introduction to what it means to be an Anglican Christian.
Then, get yourself a Book of Common Prayer
Things can get a bit confusing trying to determine which Book of Common Prayer (AKA “Prayer Book” or “BCP”) is the “right” or “official” one to use.
Right now, the most commonly used BCP in the USA is the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. If you don’t own a BCP, I recommend that you start off by getting a copy of “the 1979” for personal use.
However, the 1928 Book of Common Prayer is also used quite a bit. Here’s the edition that I own:
If you’d like to learn more about the history of the BCP, read The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography (Lives of Great Religious Books)
Alan Jacobs has written up a wonderful, brief (256 pages), and accessible account of the long and complicated history of the BCP.
For an even briefer account (156 pages) of the history of the 1979 BCP in particular, check out The Prayer Book Through the Ages by William Sydnor
If you’d like to access the texts of the first Books of Common Prayer, which were produced in 1549, 1559, and 1662, you should take a look at this Oxford World’s Classics edition of the Book of Common Prayer, edited by Brian Cummings:
For an excellent introduction to an Anglican way of thinking about “normal, everyday” life, read Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life
Now, this isn’t just a book about/for Anglicans. However, Tish Harrison Warren, an Anglican priest (and a fellow author here at Anglican Pastor!), has written the BEST example (that I know of) of an Anglican way of thinking about everyday life.
In my opinion, this book, which won Christianity Today’s 2018 Book of the Year Award, is a fantastic example of the riches that Anglicanism has to offer the broader Church.
For a guide to discipleship at home with your family, check out Grow at Home by Winfield Bevins
Written for families of all ages and backgrounds, Grow at Home unpacks these ideas with a practical guide to family discipleship. When we bring the gospel back in the home, it will spread through our neighborhoods and into the communities where we live. Let the journey begin!
Still want to learn more about Anglicanism? Perhaps you’re ready for The Study of Anglicanism
I bought the 2009 large print edition of this classic work, because it’s cheaper on Amazon.
However, if you’re not a fan of very large, unwieldy books, then it might be worth it to splurge on the “regular” sized 1998 revised edition.
Although it might be due for another revised edition sometime soon, this work still remains a/the standard reference work on Anglicanism as a whole.
Here’s an overview of the contents of The Study of Anglicanism
Part I: History of Anglicanism
- From the Reformation to the 18th Century
- From the Early 18th Century to the Present Day
Part II: The Gospel in Anglicanism
Part III: Authority and Method
- Tradition, Fathers, and Councils
Part IV: Anglican Standards
- Prayer Books
- The Articles and Homilies
- Standard Divines
- Lex Orandi — Lex Credendi
- Councils, Conferences, and Synods
- Canon Law
Part V: Church, Sacraments, and Ministry
- Doctrine of the Church
- The Fundamentals of Christianity
- The Laity
- Holy Communion
- Ministry and Priesthood
Part VI: Anglicanism in Practice
- Anglican Spirituality
- Anglican Morality
- Anglican Pastoral Tradition
- Church-State Relations
- Sociology of Anglicanism
Part VII: Prospects
- The Ecumenical Future
- Non-Anglo-Saxon Anglicanism
- What is ‘Anglicanism’?
- Anglicanism, Ecclesia Anglicana, and Anglican: An Essay on Terminology
- Anglicans and Mission
Hungry to learn more about the history of the Church of England? Try A History of the Church in England by J.R.H. Moorman
Moorman’s work is the classic account of the history of the Church in/of England.
As a wonderful companion to this volume, I suggest picking up A Little History of the English Country Church by Roy Strong.
Strong provides, as it were, a “people’s history of the Church of England.” He focuses on what it would have been like to be an ordinary parishioner during the tumultuous periods of change during and following the English Reformation. Fascinating stuff. Plus, there are pictures in this book! 🙂
For a theological history of Anglicanism, read The Panther and the Hind and/or Anglican Theology
Gerald McDermott assigned The Panther and the Hind for our Anglican History and Doctrine course at Beeson Divinity School. Written by a Roman Catholic, it offers a fascinating “outsider’s” account of the theological history of Anglicanism. Just 186 pages long, this book packs a punch and will leave you thinking!
For a theological account of Anglicanism from a different (insider’s) angle, check out Anglican Theology by Mark Chapman.
If you don’t feel like working through its 288 pages, consider Chapman’s Anglicanism: A Very Short Introduction, which is only 168 (small) pages long.
To learn more about liturgy in general, read Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshipping Community by Simon Chan
Weighing in at just 208 pages, this book by Simon Chan is an excellent introduction to liturgical theology, especially if, like me, you grew up in a non-liturgical or even anti-liturgical tradition!
For a deeper dive into the biblical and patristic roots of the liturgy, read Bible and the Liturgy, by Jean Daniélou
Or, consider reading Dom Gregory Dix’s classic (which gets referenced a bunch in Chan’s book above), *The Shape of the Liturgy
Want more Anglican Pastor reading recommendations?
Then, check out these other recommended resources:
- The Faith We Confess: An Exposition of the Thirty-Nine Articles, by Gerald Bray
- The Liturgy Explained: New Edition, by James W. Farwell
- Our Anglican Heritage, Second Edition: Can an Ancient Church be a Church of the Future?, by John W. Howe
- The Accidental Anglican: The Surprising Appeal of the Liturgical Church, by Todd Hunter
- The Thirty-Nine Articles: Their Place and Use Today, by J.I. Packer