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.