This weekend at the Southeast Evangelical Missiological Society meeting, I will present the following paper: Communicating catholic and Indigenous Christianity: The Book of Common Prayer’s Contribution to Global Mission. Below is a brief abstract:
When Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) published the first Book of Common Prayer (BCP) in 1549, he offered a means for the English church to be liturgically catholic and culturally English. That is, the prayer book provided continuity for the whole (catholic) English church for daily prayer, weekly worship, Scripture reading, celebrating the sacraments, and following the major feasts of the church year. Because the BCP was produced in the English vernacular, the prayer book also allowed them to be fully English in their worship life.
As the Anglican church began to participate in global mission in the early eighteenth century, the prayer book continued to be a means of encouraging orthodoxy and catholicity while also promoting indigenous Christianity. Following a brief history and theology of the BCP, I will support this claim by exploring Anglican mission practice in South India and New Zealand and the development of the prayer book in those contexts. I conclude with a brief missiological reflection on the place of a tool such as the prayer book for communicating the gospel and making disciples among all peoples today.
Read an entire draft of the paper HERE.