Brief Reading List for Anglican Laity

There was Discussion below on a reading list for clergy. I thought that it would be fitting to begin where it’s most proper—a brief recommended reading list for laity.

Bible, BCP, and Hymnal go without saying…


1. Augustine, Enchiridion

2. Luther’s Large & Small Catechisms

3. Athanasius, On the Incarnation

4. The Rule of St. Benedict

5. Michael Ramsey, The Anglican Spirit

6. Luke Johnson, The Creed

7. Martin Thorton, Christian Proficiency

8. Luke Johnson, Living Jesus

9. Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline

Most of these are pretty self-explanatory. Of the modern works, the Ramsey and the Thorton give the primary introductions to Anglican thought and Spirituality; the Johnson books are the best I know at laying out biblical Christology and the creedal core of the catholic faith that fall neither into scepticism (a la Borg and Crossan) or fundamentalism. The Foster has a tendency to get protestant, but is a good introduction to the basic Christian disciplines.

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17 Responses to Brief Reading List for Anglican Laity

  1. Lee says:

    OK – I’ve read all these except Thorton (and I’m not even Anglican!) – is it worth tracking down a copy?

  2. Thornton in brief (at least the bits I got through in a skim of the book): The heart of the Anglican Path is the Mass, the Office, and spontaneous prayer in-between these.

    So–I think you’re in good shape, Lee! :-)

  3. Any others you’d recommend as a real live lay-person?

  4. Christopher says:

    What is Anglicanism? by Urban T. Holmes III.

  5. Annie says:

    That’s a lot of Luke Johnson.

  6. Matt Gunter says:

    How about:

    The Spiritual Life by Evelyn Underhill

    Saving Belief or Lord I beleive by Austin Farrer

    Tokens of Trust or Where God Happens by Rowan Williams

    Creed or Chaos by Dorothy Sayers

    Faith and Life by William Temple

  7. Matt Gunter says:

    And, although he is Orthodox, I recommend Schlemann’s For the Life of the World to everyone.

  8. rick allen says:

    Though not an Anglican, I have always enjoyed the anthology compiled and edited by Paul Elmer More and Frank Leslie Cross entitled “Anglicanism: The Thought and Practice of the Church of England, Illustrated from the Relgious Literature of the Seventeenth Century”–though admittedly it may have led me to the impression that Anglicanism as a whole is more Anglo-Catholic than it generally is.

  9. Toni Alvarez says:

    Have you read Dallas Willard’s Spirit of the Disciplines?

  10. John-Julian, OJN says:

    Well, I’d require “Lord of the Rings”, too — best contemporary mystical writing I know! But that’s just me, I guess.

  11. Thanks for all the suggestions! I’m familiar with the authors but not the texts you’ve pointed too, Matt. And no, Toni, I’ve not encountered that writer nor the book.

  12. The Church’s Teaching Series is one of the better basic series on what it means to be an Episcopalian. The series is written by a remarkable collection of Episcopal Clergy and Theologians and has a healthy connection with both abstract theology and “where the rubber meets the road.” It’s listed here in full.

  13. bls says:

    And for those without a fortune to spend on books, these can be found in full online:

    Athanasius, On the Incarnation

    Augustine, Enchiridion

    Luther’s Large & Small Catechisms

    The Rule of St. Benedict

    I would have thought that Michael Ramsey’s “The Anglican Spirit” would be digitally available someplace, but couldn’t find it. I don’t think the others will, but there’s plenty to read at the above links to start out….

  14. bls says:

    (Sorry about that; that last link was meant for the Asperges thread….)

  15. My Sayers vote would go to “Mind of the Maker.”

    20 years ago I used “Celebration of Discipline” with an adult study group and was very impressed. The study guide that went with it was particularly helpful.


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