Once Henry VIII declared the Church of England free of papal control in the sixteenth century and the process of Reformation began, the Church of England rapidly developed a distinctive style of ministry that reflected the values and practices of the English people. In Ministry in the Anglican Tradition from Henry VIII to 1900, John L. Kater traces the complex process by which Anglican ministry evolved in dialogue with social and political changes in England and around the world. By the end of the Victorian period, ministry in the Anglican tradition had begun to take on the broad diversity we know today. This book explores the many ways in which laypeople, clergy, and missionaries in multiple settings and under various conditions have contributed to the emergence of a uniquely Anglican way of responding to the call to serve Christ and the world. That ministry preserved many of the insights of its Reformation ancestors and their heritage, even as it continued to respond to the new and often unfamiliar contexts it now calls home.
John L. Kater is an ordained priest of the Episcopal Church and has been teaching at Ming Hua Theological College in Hong Kong since 2007. He is also professor emeritus of ministry development at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific.
Chapter One: Reformations: The Beginnings of Ministry in the Anglican Tradition
Chapter Two: Settlement: Ministry in the Reign of Elizabeth
Chapter Three: Unsettlement: Ministry after Elizabeth
Chapter Four: Divergence: Ministry after the Restoration
Chapter Five: Stirrings: The Beginnings of Overseas Anglicanism
Chapter Six: Reconsiderations: Anglican Ministry in England and Ireland, 1800-1860
Chapter Seven: Pioneers: Mission and Ministry in North America, 1800-1860
Chapter Eight: Missions: Global Anglican Ministry in the Early Nineteenth Century
Chapter Nine: Tremblings: Ministry in the Church of England, 1860-1900
Chapter Ten: Brittania: Ministry in the British Empire, 1860-1900
Chapter Eleven: Evangelism: Global Anglican Ministry, 1850-1900
Chapter Twelve: Tensions: Anglican Ministry in the United States of America, 1860-1900
Chapter Thirteen: Visions: The Future(s) of Mission and Ministry in the Anglican Tradition
This study is a magisterial achievement, with Kater drawing together theological subtlety, a lifetime of teaching experience, and deep understanding of text and context. Just as importantly, however, there is also a historical wisdom here that recognizes what generations of Anglican priests and writers were trying to express, and which shows how they built churches around the world through that same vision. It’s a wisdom in which Kater finally offers us a compassionate vision of the Church as the responsibility, as well as the reward, for our lives together - a sacrament of genuine sharing, in God and in one another. A truly lovely book.
John Kater, as priest and scholar with extensive worldwide knowledge and experience of ministry in the Anglican Communion, is eminently prepared to write this volume on the history of ministry in the Anglican Communion. Historical narrative brings this volume to life around the inspiration and perils of the Church of England’s founding vision: the imperial state’s binding of civic and spiritual wellbeing of its people in a single vocation. As this model, and the ethos supporting it, leave the shores of England, Kater judiciously and candidly exposes the challenges for ministry under these conditions. The reader feels Kater’s passion for his subject and his pursuit of truth as this history of the Anglican Communion unfolds.
Dr. John Kater engages his readers with a thoughtful, colorful, and accessible history of the formation and development of the Anglican Communion. His unfolding narrative gives a balanced description starting with the fledgling inception of the Church of England and moving through the complexities and contexts of religious and secular life in the often controversial and violent missionary movement. In describing the challenges of today’s Anglican Communion, Dr. Kater poetically notes, it is “diverse beyond the most extravagant dreams of our ancestors.” This inspiring, scholarly work should be on the required list for seminarians, and on the list for continued reading as a refresher for all Episcopal and Anglican clergy.