restricted access Glorious Companions: Five Centuries of Anglican Spirituality, ed. by Richard H. Schmidt (review)
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202 rhoticity as well as h-dropping, both of which mark regional and class differences . While this section provides an ideal opportunity to return to her assertions of Spence’s radical ideology established in the first chapter, she does not do so. A word to nonlinguists: this book assumes substantial knowledge of phonology , particularly British and RP. Additionally , Ms. Beal should have included more extensive IPA transcription when illustrating phonological change, rather than orthography, because many of her examples are not easily comprehensible to North Americans. Rebecca Shapiro St. Thomas Aquinas College Glorious Companions: Five Centuries of Anglican Spirituality, ed. Richard H. Schmidt. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 2002. Pp. xxii ⫹ 338. $29; $25 (paper). For several years running, Father Gerard Reedy, S. J., and I would get together during the holidays and inevitably our conversation would turn to eighteenthcentury Anglicanism. It amused us during those meetings to contemplate, hyperbolically of course, that among the handful of people with a continuing interest in historical Anglicanism were a Jesuit priest and a Jewish layman. Mr. Schmidt, aretiredEpiscopalpriest, attempts to exhibit the history of Anglicans ‘‘in their own words.’’ He has gathered a compendium of brief excerpts from voices in the Anglican communion stretching from Thomas Cranmer to Desmond Tutu, 29 voices in all, and has introduced each with concise, useful introductions. From the beginnings in Cranmer and Jewel, he moves to Hooker and Andrewes, Donne, Herbert, and Traherne—the intermixture of theologians and poets serves to alert us to the importance of understanding the religion (and its opponents) that underwrites British literature from Shakespeare and Milton to Joyce and Eliot. There is much simplification in Mr. Schmidt’s introductions, and indeed in his choice of excerpts, but given the often dismal state of our knowledge of the religious background ofeighteenth-century thought, almost every quotation hassome value. To how many postmodernist misreadings of Clarissa, for example, would these two brief sentences from Hooker have served as a useful corrective:‘‘Since God hath deified our nature, though not by turning it into himself, yet by making it his own inseparable habitation, we cannot now conceive how God should without man either exercise divine power, or receive the glory of divine praise. For man is in both an associate of Deity.’’ Unfortunately, Mr. Schmidt’s eighteenth -century representative ‘‘theologians ’’ are poorly chosen, although these choices do tell us much about the modern church’s indifference toward its own historical development. Hence, while one can agree with his selecting Jeremy Taylor as exemplary of the Anglican combination of ‘‘spiritual insight and practical application’’ and anticipations of religious tolerance, the leap from Taylor to William Law and Joseph Butler ignores the brilliant and prolific period of Anglican theological thought that falls between them—the period truly ennobled by the discourse of the Cambridge Platonists (Ralph Cudworth and Henry More, in particular), followed by John Tillotson and Samuel Clarke, Robert South and Edward Stillingfleet, William Wollaston and Benjamin Whichcote. Not to have included even one of these figures —and, most especially, the omission 203 of Tillotson, whose 254 collected sermons might be said to embody the very heart and soul of Anglican theology— renders Mr. Schmidt’s collection enormously deficient. That the Wesleys appear instead is almost to add insult to injury—and while we are happy to reread the quotable Samuel Johnson, he would almost certainly have objected to passages from Rambler being included in a collection representing Anglican spirituality . All this notwithstanding, Glorious Companions would well serve as required reading for all students of the eighteenth century, if only to overcome, in some small way, our increasing failure to understand theageinrelationtoitsown deepest concerns as well as our own. As Mr. Schmidt astutely notes, the essence of Anglican theology resides in the doctrine of incarnation; that insight alone, traceable through the five centuries of quoted materials, is worth the price of admission, most especially because so many modern commentators seem not to recognize that the eighteenth century’s continued commitment to the Word made flesh is,infact,itsprimaryliterarytheory. Melvyn New University of Florida DONALD A. SPAETH. The Church in an Age of Danger: Parsons and Parishioners , 1660–1740. Cambridge: Cambridge, 2000. Pp. xiii ⫹ 259...


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