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on 26 May 2014
This book came to my attention initially for the excellent production: rough-edged paper and high quality printing. I'm interested in the Book of Common Prayer primarily for the work Cranmer did but I am not an Anglican, so my understanding of the overall place of the book and particularly an understanding of it form an Anglican perspective was weak. Jacobs account certainly fixed that! I cam away with a much better impression of the development of the Book and a better understanding of how an Anglican would view it. Well worth reading.
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on 26 July 2015
This book isn't bad on historical points, but in terms of its overall thrust would have been named "Good Riddance to the Old BCP and Welcome to the BCP, 1979 of the ECUSA". The new "Alternative " books, including the American BCP, 1979, represent a radical break form he historical prayer book and I cannot be persuaded by Mr. Jacobs that the new liturgy represents an evolution from the original. Ultimately, Jacobs is dismissive of the Prayer Book and its tradition.
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on 22 October 2014
This is a gem. The hardback is beautifully produced, but the Kindle has the usual advantage ages: search, hi lights, cut and paste.
Beautifully written, thoroughly well researched. Brought the Prayer Book alive for me. I still think that in public liturgy outside of English cathedrals it needs to be used amongst consenting adults only, although this book reminds me that contemporary Anglican liturgies need to learn the gifts of simplicity and poetry (our new baptism liturgies are a nightmare of let's cram everything in here and ram it down people's throats).
The BCP is a miracle of writing which has shaped the Englush language and the English psyche, and here it has found a worthy biographer.
And those reviewers who have said, elsewhere, that he appears not to have much love for contemporary liturgies need to read the (often extended and fascinating) footnotes wherein he tells us that the one book he never leaves behind is the Common Worship Daily Prayer Book. Which I agree is the best of the whole of the Complex Worship endeavour.
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on 9 June 2015
An excellent, clear and balanced guide to thee history of the Book of Common Prayer. Suitable for academics as an introduction as well as the interested lay person.
Though the author is writing with an American perspective you'd scarcely notice it.
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