Backpacking Through the Anglican Communion

A Search for Unity

Jesse A Zink

Jan/2014, 208 Pages, Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819229014



The Anglican Communion is said to be coming apart at the seams. But is that really true? Thisbook challenges that tired narrative of Anglican disunity.

Jesse Zink has traveled tens of thousands of miles around the world, visiting and worshiping with Anglicans in some of the Communion’s most diverse provinces—Nigeria, the largest province ministering in an unstable political environment; South Sudan, at one point the fastest-growing church in the world, now rebuilding after devastating civil wars; England, the mother church of Anglicans, struggling to adjust to a new, secular age; South Africa, a church dealing with the legacy of entrenched discrimination and rapid social change.

The story Zink learns at the grassroots level of the church is far different from the one that dominates its highest levels. He shows that when conversations about power, history, and sexuality are undertaken in a spirit of mutuality and trust, they can strengthen, not weaken, the Anglican Communion. The result is a book that presents vivid slices of Anglican life around the world, argues convincingly that unity is central to the Communion’s mission, and presents a credible path to achieving that unity in a global church. It is a book that will be sure to shape coming debates about the future of the Anglican Communion.

Jesse Zink is the principal of Montreal Dio, an ecumenical theological college affiliated with McGill University, and canon theologian in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal. He holds a Ph.D. in theology from Cambridge University. Baptized in Canada, confirmed and ordained in The Episcopal Church, his ministry has taken him to numerous parts of the world and shapes his understanding of the future of Christianity. He is the author of four previous books on Christian mission and theology in a global world, including Backpacking through the Anglican Communion: A Search for Unity; A Faith for the Future; Christianity and Catastrophe in South Sudan: Civil War, Migration, and the Rise of Dinka Anglicanism; and Grace at the Garbage Dump: Making Sense of Mission in the Twenty-First Century. He lives in Verdun, Quebec.

"Jesse Zink’s Backpacking through the Anglican Communion is so much more than a church travel narrative. As one of the brightest young missiologists in the Anglican Communion, Jesse writes with a keen eye to God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation. These reflections demonstrate how Anglicans are unified in service to the mission of God in the many and varied contexts and differences that we inhabit. Backpacking through the Anglican Communion is a wonderful witness to God’s gift of unity in diversity at the heart of Anglican faithfulness." —The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Ph.D., Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

“Jesse Zink is intelligent, articulate, courageous, compassionate, and deeply faithful. He is a young man modeling with impassioned humility what it is to give due honor to the voices, yearnings, perspectives, and curiosities of those hosts of faith-filled global Anglicans whose daily lives are testimony to outstanding Christian witness. With refreshingly impressive candour and integrity, he engages with the underrepresented, undervalued Anglicanism of those whose lives, experiences, and struggles are always beyond the horizon of so-called ‘representative’ spokespeople.”—Jenny Te Paa, Former Dean, Te Rau Kahikatea, St John’s College, Auckland, New Zealand

“What is important about Jesse Zink’s Backpacking through the Anglican Communion is that Jesse takes us to places that are not usually on the ‘beaten path’ of Anglicanism. When visiting the church on five of the seven continents, Jesse enters into the local life of the churches and helps us to understand the diversity and unity of our global family and our mutual responsibility to each other. He has beautifully and insightfully articulated a story that needs to be told.”—John Peterson, former Secretary General of Anglican Communion

“Jesse Zink has a passion for community and a generous interpretation of the faith. It is these passions that have led to his extensive travel in different cultures and diverse parts of the world. Anglicanism is best appreciated and most celebrated through mutual understanding and respect. This is why Backpacking through the Anglican Communion promises to make a difference. May the light of Jesse’s book lighten a path for those of us who believe in an undivided and generous Communion of integrity for all.”—Duleep de Chickera, retired Bishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka

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