A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality (Hardcover)

A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality By Stephen Bates Cover Image
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The Anglican Communion is in turmoil. One of the great historic pillars of Christianity, embraced by 70 million people in 164 countries, faces the real and immediate possibility of dismberment, as the spectre of schism looms ever closer. Yet why is gay sexuality the tinderbox that could rip the Anglican Communion apart, and put an end to a century-old and hugely-prized international unity, when such contentious issues as the ordination of women, or unity discussions with other churches, failed to cause a split? In answering this question, Stephen Bates will show that unity has been coveted by some above integrity, and has been the cause of vicious infighting and internal politics. In the run-up to publication of A Church At War the author will be in the front line, as he files regular reports on the twists and turns of battle. His eagerly awaited book will be the only one to assess the current state and historical context of the row, the strengths and weaknesses of the protagonists' positions, and the tactics that they are employing to win the day.
A Church At War promises compelling insights into a power struggle between factions seemingly united only by their mutual antipathy, and conducted, paradoxically, in the name of true communion.'

About the Author

Stephen Bates is the Guardian's religious affairs correspondent. An Oxford-trained historian, he has been a journalist with the BBC, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and, for the last 14 years, the Guardian. He is a regular broadcaster as well as writer, and has contributed to a wide range of publications.

Praise For…

"In A Church at War Stephen Bates has given us a book that reads like a thriller and unfolds like a tragedy. It is a story of an attempted coup, the takeover of a once benign and inclusive institution by religious extremists who want to recreate it in their own narrow and destructive image. The battle is ostensibly over homosexuality, but in reality it is about the status and interpretation of the Bible. As Bates eloquently shows, though the struggle is not over already there have been some spectacular casualties--the most notable being Rowan Williams, the present Archbishop of Canterbury. Anyone who cares about the future of the Anglican Church should read this book."--Richard Holloway, formerly Bishop of Edinburgh and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
"Bates manages to turn the minutiae of church politics into an engrossing and exciting narrative. He takes a pitiless scalpel to the poverty of conservative evangelical thinking on sexuality, and reveals plenty of evidence of a determined conservative minority bidding to seize power in worldwide Anglicanism. He poses a challenge to the Anglican Communion to fight its way out of its current mess through the exercise of a good deal more generosity and imagination than has so far generally been the case."--Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church, University of Oxford
"Human sexuality has become one of the more contentious issues for churches as they wrestle with their identity and place in the modern world. Bates' insightful book does an admirable job of revealing the fissures and faultlines of the current debate in the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion. His analysis is a sure-footed guide and an essential companion for all those who want to understand the competing convictions that have contributed to the discussions so far."--Martyn Percy, Director, Lincoln Theological Institute, Manchester and Adjunct Professor of Theology, Hartford Seminary, Connecticut
"Stephen Bates has left us in his debt with his gripping account of recent events in the Anglican Communion. It is a sorry tale, but is one that needs urgently to be told, and Bates tells it brilliantly. There is an old Anglican prayer which speak of charity as being the bond of peace and of all virtues. A good dose of that is needed at the moment if an historically 0inclusive church is not to end up being narrow, exclusive and unchristian."--Christopher Rowland, Dean Ireland's Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford
"Stephen Bates leads the reader briskly through the biblical and historical background, as well as telling in a most entertaining style all the more recent stories of debates and meetings about homosexuality...I hope that American Episcopalians, both conservative and liberal, will read it with care..." --Simon Sarmiento, Anglicans Online
"...a racy and enjoyable account of Anglican battles over homosexuality...Bates has done his homework...thanks to Bates' detective work, we now have a clearer idea of what happened...."--Damian Thompson, Sunday Telegraph
"Writer Stephen Bates' well-regarded book on gays and the clergy...has predictably not pleased everyone at Lambeth Palace." --Richard Kay, The Daily Mail

Product Details
ISBN: 9781850434801
ISBN-10: 1850434808
Publisher: I. B. Tauris & Company
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2004
Pages: 256
Language: English