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This Far by Faith

Tradition and Change in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

Edited by David R. Contosta

Publication Year: 2012

The history of the Diocese of Pennsylvania is in many ways a history of the Episcopal Church at large. It remains one of the largest and most influential dioceses in the national church. Its story has paralleled and illustrated the challenges and accomplishments of the wider denomination—and of issues that concern the American people as a whole. In This Far by Faith, ten professional historians provide the first complete history of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. It will become essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the history and significance of the Episcopal Church and of its evolution in the Greater Philadelphia area. Aside from the editor, the contributors are Charles Cashdollar, Marie Conn, William W. Cutler III, Deborah Mathias Gough, Ann Greene, Sheldon Hackney, Emma J. Lapsansky-Werner, William Pencak, and Thomas F. Rzeznik.

Published by: Penn State University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Table of Contens

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pp. vii-viii

List of Figures

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pp. ix-xii

List of Tables

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pp. xiii-xiv

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xv-xvi

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pp. 1-6

The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania—and its precursor, the Church of England in colonial Pennsylvania—have been shaped by complex historical forces. These include the history of Christianity, especially during its first centuries, the foundations of the Church of England in the sixteenth century, patterns of colonial society, ...

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Chapter 1: The Colonial Church: Founding the Church, 1695–1775

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pp. 7-43

In 1695, thirty-nine committed Anglicans banded together to found Christ Church, Philadelphia, the first Anglican church in what would become Pennsylvania and the church that would become known as the mother of the Episcopal Church in the United States. ...

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Chapter 2: From Anglicans to Episcopalians: The Revolutionary Years, 1775–1790

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pp. 44-86

In 1780 the Marquis de Chastellux, third in command of the force led by French general Jean-Baptiste Rochambeau to assist the Americans in winning their revolution, visited Philadelphia. In his memoirs, he reviewed the service the Reverend William White had conducted at either Christ Church or St. Peter’s, ...

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Chapter 3: Identity, Spirituality, and Organization: The Episcopal Church in Early Pennsylvania, 1790–1820

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pp. 87-110

On Wednesday, May 27, 1807, Bishop William White addressed his small audience at the annual convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church. “Twenty years have passed since I became your bishop,” he reminded them. ...

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Chapter 4: New Growth and New Challenges, 1820–1840

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pp. 111-154

In October 1824 Bishop William White set out on his first visit to the western reaches of the diocese beyond the Allegheny Mountains. It would have been an arduous journey even for a young man, but White was now in his seventy-seventh year, and for him the trip threatened danger as well as difficulty. ...

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Chapter 5: The Church and the City, 1840–1865

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pp. 155-177

For Bishop Alonzo Potter and the Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, as for all residents of the city, the years leading up to the Civil War were a period of great growth, change, and almost overwhelming challenge. ...

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Chapter 6: The Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 1865–1910

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pp. 178-215

Bishop Alonzo Potter died in July 1865, while en route to California from Central America. He had been on a trip through the region, attempting to restore his worsening health. Because it took five weeks to return Potter’s body to Philadelphia, it was September before a funeral could be held.1 ...

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Chapter 7: The Church in Prosperity, Depression, and War, 1910–1945

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pp. 216-262

On Thanksgiving Day 1918, Bishop Philip Mercer Rhinelander gave thanks to God for the blessings of peace. The occasion was both solemn and festive, a time to celebrate the homecoming of those who had fought in World War I and to honor those who had died in service to the country. ...

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Chapter 8: A Church on Wheels, 1945–1963

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pp. 263-297

In the fall of 1957 Henry C. Gibson was nearing the end of his second year as rector’s warden at the Church of Our Saviour in Jenkintown. Once recognized as one of the fastest-growing parishes in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, it still ranked among the largest and most prosperous. ...

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Chapter 9: Social Justice, the Church, and the Counterculture, 1963–1979

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pp. 298-334

Bishop Robert L. DeWitt looked out at the delegates to the diocesan convention in May 1965 and intoned, “We live in apocalyptic times.” When he made that statement, it was metaphorically true in two senses. At the personal level, it must have seemed like the end time had arrived. ...

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Chapter 10: A Perfect Storm, 1979–2010

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pp. 335-364

The upheavals of the 1960s and ’70s seemed far away in May 1984, a festive time for the Diocese of Pennsylvania. After months of planning, the diocese was celebrating the two-hundredth anniversary of its founding with a host of events. Beginning on May 5, the entire ground floor of the First Bank of the United States was given over to a comprehensive exhibit ...

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List of Contributors

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pp. 365-366

Charles D. Cashdollar is University Professor Emeritus of History at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He was president of the Pennsylvania Historical Association in 2007–8. Among his publications is A Spiritual Home: Life in British and American Reformed Congregations, 1830–1915 (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000). ...


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pp. 367-390

Cover Back

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E-ISBN-13: 9780271055664
E-ISBN-10: 0271055669
Print-ISBN-13: 9780271052441
Print-ISBN-10: 0271052449

Publication Year: 2012