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New study explores growth and decline in the Anglican Communion

Posted on: November 15, 2016 4:16 PM
The Eglise Anglicane du Congo (the Anglican Church of Congo) is the subject of one of 12 case-studies in a new study into growth and decline in the Anglican Communion. This photo is the cover-image from the published report.
Photo Credit: The Revd Dr David Goodhew

[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] A new academic study into growth and decline in the Anglican Communion will be marked by a day conference and the publication of a new book. Edited by the Revd Dr David Goodhew, director of ministerial practice at Cranmer Hall, part of St John's College at Durham University, Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion – 1980 to the Present, is described by publishers Routledge as “the first study of [the Anglican Communion’s] dramatic growth and decline in the years since 1980.”

Prepared by an international team of researchers based across five continents, the study provides a global overview of Anglicanism alongside twelve detailed case studies of Anglican churches in Australia, Congo, England, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, South America, South India, South Korea, and the US.

“This book is a critical resource for students and scholars seeking an understanding of the past, present and future of the Anglican Church,” Routledge say. “More broadly, the study offers insight into debates surrounding secularisation in the contemporary world.”

The day-conference will take place at Whitelands College of the University of Roehampton in London on 24 February 2017. Speakers include Professor David Voas, professor of social science at University College London (UCL); Dr Emma Wild-Wood, lecturer in world Christianities at the Cambridge University Faculty of Divinity; the Rt Revd Dr Graham Kings, mission theologian in the Anglican Communion; and study editor the Revd Dr David Goodhew.

“The essays in this book invite readers to further discourse on growth and decline within the respective provinces of Anglicanism in particular, and within Christianity in general,” Professor Jesse Mugambi, from the University of Nairobi in Kenya, said. “The book is worth reading as a whole, and informative in its wide range of contributions.”

Grace Davie, professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Exeter, described the book as “a veritable goldmine”, adding: “it contains a huge amount of mostly numerical information on the Anglican Communion in all its fullness.

“Quite rightly it eschews easy generalisations, probing instead the complex and evolving mosaic that constitutes modern Anglicanism. Almost every reader will be surprised about something.”

Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion – 1980 to the Present is available for pre-order ahead of its publication by Routledge on 9 December 2016 in paperback (£24.99 GBP) and hardback (£85.00 GBP).

Tickets for the day conference on 24 February 2017 cost £80 GBP, with a 50 per cent reduction for students.