Anglican Divinity on the World Wide Web
UNTIL three years ago, it would have been all but impossible in many parts of the world for an interested reader to find much of the corpus of Anglican divinity without travelling to a special library or research facility. That situation has been remedied in part by the appearance of Project Canterbury, a website available at
It provides out-of-print Anglican theological documents free of charge to any individual with access to a computer terminal and the Internet. The effort, under the episcopal patronage of the Right Reverend Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, hosts the Tracts for the Times, the works of John Keble, EB Pusey, Charles Gore, portions of the Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology and hundreds of documents on the Oxford Movement and Ritualism.
Popular subsections of the site are devoted to Anglo-Catholicism in Scotland, the United States and elsewhere in the Anglican world. Classical High Church divinity is also hosted here in abundance, with the works of George Herbert, Lancelot Andrewes, Richard Hooker,
Thomas Ken, William Palmer (of Worcester and Magdalen both) and documents on King Charles the Martyr. One particularly popular text is J. Embry's The Catholic Movement and the Society of the Holy Cross, just posted in 2001. A new mission of the site is the provision of Anglican Prayer Book liturgies in various foreign languages, including Chinese, Hebrew, Manx Gaelic and several African and Native American translations.
Begun in early 1999 by an undergraduate FiF member at Columbia University in New York City, the site has become the largest online Anglican resource of any kind entirely through the efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers. They hail from all over the world. The Society of Archbishop Justus, the force behind the very popular
hosts Project Canterbury gratis, and many diocesan and parochial WebPages throughout the Communion have created links to it. During most weeks, about 15,000 hits reach the site, making it one of the most popular online resources for theological texts in any Christian tradition.
The clear goal of the site is a refreshment Anglican theological life and thought b: return to the very sources of that tradition
Volunteer transcriptionists are still welcome to assist in the development of the site. At present, a weekly e-mail alerts interested subscribers to the addresses of documents which have been posted on the site in the course of the previous week. Its compiler is the Reverend Rodney Hacking, a priest of the Church of England under the pastoral care of the Bishop of Beverley.
It is hoped that in time Project Canterbury will host most works in the canon of catholic-minded Anglicanism – including the works the Nonjurors, Caroline Divines and Oxford Fathers - in searchable text format at no cc to both serious student and casual inquiry about the substance of the English expression of the Faith once delivered to the Saints.
Richard J Mammana Jr is a fourth-year undergraduate at Columbia University, and a parishioner at the Church of the Resurrection, Manhattan.
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