Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans is the first sustained study of inter-Orthodox relations, the special role of the Anglican Church, and the problems of Orthodox nationalism in the modern age. Despite many challenges, the interwar years were a time of intense creativity in the Russian Orthodox Church. Russian emigres, freed from enforced isolation in the wake of the Russian Revolution, found themselves in close contact with figures from other Orthodox churches and from the Roman Catholic Church and all varieties of Protestant confessions. For many reasons, Russian exiles found themselves drawn to the Anglican Church in particular. The interwar years thus witnessed a concentrated effort to bridge the gap between Orthodox and Anglican. Geffert's book is a detailed history of that effort. It is the story of efforts toward rapprochement by two churches and their ultimate failure to achieve formal unity. The same political, diplomatic, historical, personal, and religious forces that first inspired contact were the ones that ultimately undermined the effort. Bryn Geffert recounts the history of an important chapter in the history of Christian ecumenism, one that is relevant to contemporary efforts to achieve meaningful interfaith dialogue.
"At a time when the sun seems to have set on the twentieth century's long labor to reunite a divided Christendom, historians and theologians do well to remember what the dawn was like. Bryn Geffert provides, for the first time, a full and revealing history of one of the most central and fascinating episodes of modern ecumenism. Historically precise and theologically acute, Geffert's book allows us to appreciate the complex motives that fueled the ecumenical hopes of a distinguished generation, and also to understand why so much intelligence and good will fell so far short of its goal." --Bruce Marshall, Southern Methodist University
"Bryn Geffert brings a tremendous amount and considerable variety of source material to bear on the story of Anglican-Orthodox relations from the nineteenth century to around 1945. He also skillfully presents the secular political and diplomatic context in which Anglican-Orthodox church relations unfolded. This work will generate interest beyond the circle of church historians and ecumenists. Political and diplomatic historians interested in the religious dimensions of European/Middle Eastern/Russian history will find Geffert's work very useful." --Paul Valliere, Butler University
"[Geffert's] is the only work of its kind. Even among related studies, this one is singular in the depth of its coverage of Anglican-Orthodox and other ecumenical connections in the years between the world wars, while tracing the earlier nineteenth-century developments that led up to the intense period of ecumenical engagement, roughly from 1920 to 1937. . . . The narration is superb; the author knows how to tell a most complex story with clarity and color." --Michael Plekon, Baruch College