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Beyond Imagination: "Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence in the Body of Christ (1963) and the Reinvention of Canadian Anglicanism"

William J. Danaher, Jr.

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This essay explores “Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence in the Body of Christ” (MRI), an influential document issued in 1963 at the close of the Anglican Congress in Toronto. A foundational statement on mission and communion, MRI inspired both the structures and ethos of contemporary Anglicanism. However, the production of this imagined global community unwittingly contributed to the decline of Anglicanism in Canada. Drawing from Charles Taylor and Benedict Anderson, this essay will trace the reinvention of Anglicanism in Canada from the religious wing of the British Empire to a modern vision of a worldwide communion that nonetheless depended on the very structures and power relations it sought to replace. As such, the decline of Anglicanism in Canada was not the product of outside forces like secularism as much as the result of a theology that failed to engage the issues facing everyday Canadians.

 
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