The renewal of prayer and the religious life is explored in the third of three books on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ministry priorities. The series has been produced by the Theological Education in the Anglican Communion (TEAC) department of the Anglican Communion Office to help bishops prepare for the next Lambeth Conference. All bishops in the Anglican Communion are invited to the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference. The next one will be held in Canterbury, England, in 2022, having been postponed from last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The book is based on papers delivered at a Theological Education for Mission in the Anglican Communion conference, held at Saint Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya, in May 2019. Addressing delegates at the time, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “religious communities are an integral part of the church today and in places they are a vibrant part of the church.” His personal reflections form the introduction to this volume.
The editors, Dr Muthuraj Swamy and Dr Stephen Spencer, say that the book, Listening Together: Global Anglican Perspectives on Renewal of Prayer and the Religious Life, was “written by authors representing a dozen different nationalities from across the globe, with a similar number of mother tongues and with a majority of voices from the global South”.
The book explores examples of the renewal of prayer in the local church; the theological foundation of renewal for local churches, and religious and monastic communities; examples of monastic communities; and examples of innovative religious communities.
Muthuraj Swamy and Stephen Spencer said that the themes that emerge throughout the chapters are “that prayer is much more than making our requests known to God but is about coming into his presence with open minds and hearts, in stillness and with an attitude of listening”, and, “that prayer is something to be done with others, in community, before it is done on one’s own”.
When talking about their hopes for the series of books, they said: “we hope the books will raise the profile of Anglican theology from the global south so that whenever bishops and other church leaders are grappling with the big issues of our time they will remember to listen to voices from the global south as well as north. Also that the different chapters in these books will help to form the thinking of bishops who are preparing for the Lambeth Conference in 2022. Finally, that the contributors will be encouraged to keep working in their areas of expertise and publish further work for churches worldwide.”
The three volumes are:
- Listening Together: Global Anglican Perspectives on Renewal of Prayer and the Religious Life
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