When I was in seminary I wrote a paper for R. William Franklin's church history course, in which I compared the lives and views of Dr. William Reed Huntington and Fr. Paul Wattson, founder of the Society of the Atonement at Graymoor. The essay was later published by the Society of the Atonement, with two responses, addressing my sometimes pointed critique of Fr. Paul's concepts and direction.
It occurs to me that we are engaged in a similar discussion at present as to which model for unity or communion is best, and so I'm providing a link to this essay for anyone who might be interested in a historical perspective.
Here is the precis of the paper:
In this paper I will examine two men and the models for church unity they proposed. This is a study in contrasts and shadows. The men themselves are shadows of each other: each perceived in the other a distortion of an ideal; each reacted to the divisions within the Episcopal Church in a different way, one by seeking common ground, the other by escape to higher ground. The models for church unity they proposed reflect their different backgrounds and outlooks, and respectively present an ethos centered in community and an ethos built upon authority. As such they reflect the ongoing tension between koinonía and episkopé that has marked the church from the days of Paul and Peter. The models have changed and been adapted over time by those who have adopted them, but the end of unity for which they were to serve as means seems still as shadowy as ever.
The first part of this paper compares and contrasts the lives and philosophies of the two men: one viewing the strength of the church welling up from the parish, the other looking to the See of Peter as the fons vitae for the health of the body. The second part summarizes the origins and development of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral and the Church Unity Octave. A brief concluding section comments on the current state of ecumenical affairs, and describes one glimmer of hope among the shadows of unity.
Read the rest at Shadows of Unity