Sydney Anglicans, always ultra-conservative in terms of liturgy, theology and personal morality, have increasingly modelled themselves on sixteenth century English Puritanism. Over the past few decades, they have added radical congregationalism to the mix. They have altered church services, challenged church order, and relentlessly opposed all attempts to ordain women as priests, let alone bishops. Muriel Porter unpacks how Australia's largest and, until recently, richest diocese developed its ideological fervour, and explores the impact it is having both in Australia and the Anglican Communion.
Table of Contents
Contents: Foreword; Preface; Introduction; Anglicanism in Sydney today; Sydney Anglicans; how it came to this; Tensions: Sydney and the Anglican communion; Tensions: Sydney and the Australian church; Women: equal but different; Current challenges; Conclusion: the end of the experiment?; Select bibliography; Index.
Muriel Porter is a leading lay Anglican in Australia (member of General Synod since 1987; member of GS Standing Committee since 1989; member Melbourne Synod since 1984; member Melbourne Diocesan Council since 1985, formerly member of General Synod Doctrine Commission); she is the author of numerous books and journal articles on contemporary church issues, the most recent being Sex, Power and the Clergy, Hardie Grant Books, Melbourne, 2003; The New Puritans: The Rise of Fundamentalism in the Anglican Church, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2006;and Women in Purple: Women Bishops in Australia (Voices: Quarterly Essays on Religion in Australia), John Garratt Publishing, Melbourne, 2008. She is also an occasional commentator/opinion writer in mainstream and Anglican press, and a professional journalist and journalism academic, formerly senior lecturer in journalism at RMIT University, Melbourne, and for the past 20 years, Australia correspondent for Church Times (UK).
'A timely and incisive examination of the tensions within the Anglican Communion which rightly shifts the spotlight away from North America to the machinations of the Sydney archdiocese. Dr Porter has produced a counter-balance to the fashionable glib vilification of the American and Canadian churches and a "must read" book for anyone hoping to understand the crisis in world Anglicanism.' Judith Maltby, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, UK 'Porter wrote a book on Sydney Diocese called The New Puritans that was published in Australia in 2006. This new book is an expanded and updated version of that work. Even people who have read the original book ought to read this new account for the new light it sheds...' Church of England Newspaper 'Sydney Anglicans is a very personal but, nevertheless, useful addition to the study of 21st-century Anglicanism, and the part that the unique Sydney perspective plays within it.' Church Times 'Muriel Porter has given the Anglican Communion audience a full description of a unique problem that exists in the Australian Church but that also affects the wider chruch. Her previous book, The New Puritans: The Rise of Fundamentalism in the Anglican Church (2006) is now updated with this more thoroughly researched and extensive study... Porter's writing style is journalistic, readily comprehended, and undergirded by citations from proper sources.' Anglican & Episcopal History '... we should note the excellent scholarship demonstrated by Muriel Porter in Sydney Anglicans... Sydney Anglicans is an important book [...] because of its focus on an ecclesial model which is antagonistic towards aspects of Christian life and faith to which many of us have devoted our lives.' Worship ’...the book is an acute and telling criticism, by an open and avowed opponent...’ Journal of Ecclesiastical History