Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pittsburgh's Diocesan History Now Available

The history of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh through the General Convention of 2006 is now available for purchase from Wipf & Stock.

Called Out of Darkness Into Marvelous Light is a scholarly, accessible and timely history of one of the most important forces in the present Reformation of Anglicanism and, in turn, of contemporary Western Christianity. Dr. Bonner examines the factors contributing to the realization of Dr Sam Shoemaker’s vision (that someday Pittsburgh would be “as famous for God as for Steel”) in the context of 250 years of Anglican witness in Western Pennsylvania. This book has relevance far beyond the ministry and mission of the particular Christian community it chronicles.

The Rt. Revd. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh; Archbishop-Designate of the Anglican Church in North America.

Jeremy Bonner presents a detailed, thoughtful, and even-handed account of the history of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, now central to struggles over Anglican identity and authority. Bonner’s work combines the satisfying weight of local history with the thought-provoking breadth of national and global implications. This is a fascinating and rewarding read for those seeking to understand the history of the “culture wars” within the Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Dr. Miranda K. Hassett, author of Anglican Communion in Crisis: How Episcopal Dissidents and Their Anglican Allies Are Reshaping Anglicanism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007).

In recent years when I have mentioned that I am from the Diocese of Pittsburgh some have responded by giving me a hug while others have (literally!) turned their backs and walked away. What has made even the mention of this diocese so polarizing? Jeremy Bonner’s detailed but readable study of the 250-year history of Anglicanism in western Pennsylvania sheds light on this surprisingly important epicenter in the modern story of Christianity in America and Anglicanism worldwide. Most local histories are relevant and interesting to those who call that place home. This volume should be much more widely read because this particular local place has become such a focal point both for conflict and for renewal.

Grant LeMarquand, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Mission, Trinity (Episcopal) School for Ministry.