Friday, December 18, 2009

The Beauty of Holiness

[I am posting the description of a course that I will be offering at Vancouver School of Theology during the Spring Term of 2010. If you are interested, then contact the Registrar, Anita Fast, via the School's website at]

SP 515 The Beauty of Holiness: Worship and Spirituality in the Anglican Tradition
Spring Term 2010

Dr Richard Geoffrey Leggett
Iona 219

Tuesdays from 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.

Unlike other traditions shaped by the European reformation of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Anglican tradition did not develop a confessional approach to its articulation of Christian faith and praxis. Rather than confessional documents, the Anglican tradition developed a spirituality of praxis embodied in its ‘practices’ of the liturgical year, Christian initiation, eucharist, daily prayer and other spiritual practices. SP 515 provides a foundation in the history and spirituality of these practices within the Anglican tradition with an eye to their renewal in the life of contemporary Christians.

There are no pre-requisites for this course. This course is open to all students and is required for students in the M.Div. programme preparing for ordained ministry in the churches of the Anglican Communion.

The course will meet weekly for a three-hour lecture and discussion.

You will be evaluated on your ability

• to identify distinctive Anglican approaches to the topics mentioned in the ‘Purpose’ section above;
• to compare and contrast historic Anglican approaches to classic ‘practices’ to contemporary Anglican approaches and
• to analyze the approaches of various Anglican writers to the topics mentioned in the ‘Purpose’ section above.

You are expected to fulfill the following expectations and to complete successfully the following evaluations:

(i) Completion of four critical book reviews and
(ii) Participation in at least 80% of the scheduled class sessions.

You will be required to submit four critical book reviews of the texts by Bartlett, Guenther, Countryman and Weil (five to seven pages each). In these book reviews you will compare and contrast the approaches described in the text with your own experience of contemporary Anglican praxis. The book reviews need to demonstrate a familiarity with the content and approach of the author.

Required Texts
There are five required texts. Four will be read in order to complete the evaluations named above and one, Sykes, will be used as a resource for the course. Any additional weekly reading materials will be placed on reserve.

A detailed syllabus will be available on the first day of class.

Bartlett, Alan. A Passionate Balance: The Anglican Tradition. Traditions of Christian Spirituality. London, UK: Dartman, Longman and Todd, 2007.

Countryman, L. William. The Poetic Imagination: An Anglican Spiritual Tradition. Traditions of Christian Spirituality. London, UK: Dartman, Longman and Todd, 1999.

Guenther, Margaret. The Practice of Prayer. The New Church’s Teaching Series, no. 4. Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications, 1998.

Sykes, Stephen; Booty, John and Knight, Jonathan, ed. The Study of Anglicanism. Rev. ed. Lon-don, UK: SPCK, 1998; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1998.

Weil, Louis. A Theology of Worship. The New Church’s Teaching Series, no. 12. Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications, 2002.

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