One of the most interesting voices in the Academy and the Church today is the Very Rev. Martyn William Percy, B.A., M.Ed, Ph.D. Percy, the 45th Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, and a leading voice in the Anglican Communion, is both theologically orthodox, yet deeply unconventional. While remaining engaged in the scholarly community, Percy writes with clarity and passion on topics that range from ecclesiology to music, from sexuality to the Trinity, from advertising to ministerial training—he is a polymath.
“For those of us in theological education, the theologians focused on the practice of the church are vitally important," Markham explains. "Yet in the ruthless hierarchy of the academy, the pure theologians get all the attention and the practical theologians are too easily neglected.”
Martyn Percy is a leading practical theologian; he is interested in the church as it is rather than the theoretical church. He brings social sciences together with ministry to create insights that can help congregational leadership. This is exactly what theological education needs; we need to train our seminarians so they understand congregations. Martyn Percy can help us train great seminarians.
"This collection is therefore both timely and ambitious in its scope, insights, and humanity, and the balance is impressive and substantial," said Dr. Gareth Jones, a professor at the School of Theology at Charles Sturt University. "It takes some courage to be so liberal in today’s Anglican Communion, but Percy’s work shows how relevant that struggle remains.”
This book is two books in one. The first half contains a series of articles (written both by church leaders and academics) that serve as substantial, critical introductions to Percy’s thought. In the second half, the reader gets to hear from Percy himself in a collection of wide-ranging material from his corpus. While producing a dialectical engagement of some depth (as Percy offers written responses to his interlocutors), this volume should prove useful for a variety of communities beyond academic circles, especially ones engaged with contemporary issues facing ecclesiology, churches, and the wider Anglican Communion.
Ian Markham became dean and president of VTS in 2007. With degrees from King's College London, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Exeter, he is also the author of several major works including Engaging with Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (Ashgate, 2008), An Introduction to Ministry: A Primer for Renewed Life and Leadership in Mainline Protestant Congregations (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016), Faith Rules (Church Publishing Inc., 2016), and most recently Lectionary Levity: The Use of Humor in Preaching (Church Publishing Inc., 2017).
Joshua Daniel is a candidate for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Arkansas and a seminarian at Virginia Theological Seminary. He completed his Ph.D. on Wittgenstein and Religion at the University of Arkansas in 2015.