From the Reform web-site:

New Book on Bishops by Michael Keulemans: The changing nature of the Anglican episcopate in mainland Britain

“This book, one of only two major studies on the subject for over sixty years and certainly the first ever written from an Evangelical standpoint, looks at the New Testament and Early Church evidence for the episcopate and traces its development in Britain from Roman times.  It discovers that it became increasingly politicised almost from the start, a process which was not halted by the English Reformation, even though, at least on paper, Cranmer returned it to its original teaching function.

“Particular attention is paid to how Queen Victoria and her Prime Ministers sought to balance the bench between the Latitudinarians, the Evangelicals and the new Catholic party, while the backgrounds and careers of all diocesan bishops between 1905 and 2005 are examined in detail.  Developments within the Church in Wales and the Scottish Episcopal Church are also given a chapter each.  The results of a major statistical survey of clergy and churchwardens in the dioceses of Leicester, Bradford, Monmouth and Edinburgh are probed to see how these two groups view the modern functions of a bishop, compared with the opinions of recently retired bishops.

“In the final chapter suggestions are made for the reform of the episcopate to make it more Spirit-filled and attuned to the pastoral needs of the parishes.  A practical proposal is also presented to solve the impasse over women bishops in a way that is scrupulously fair and provides opportunities to both sides of the debate.”

Should be interesting to all those wondering who’s going to replace Rowan Williams as ‘Archbishop’ (whatever that is), and actually useful to anyone in a diocese that is beginning the process of electing a bishop—although reforming the American episcopate is an even bigger task than reforming the English one, I’d say.

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