An informal gathering of bishops from Canada, the United States and African nations, the consultation provides an opportunity for bishops from different national, social and cultural backgrounds to build relationships and seek common understanding through their shared unity in Christ, addressing diverse and sometimes conflicting views.
Since the first consultation at the 2008 Lambeth Conference, which was marked by divisions in the Communion over same-sex marriage and issues of biblical interpretation, the gathering has become an annual event. Following each consultation since 2011, the bishops have produced documents known as testimonies that summarize the consultations and the themes discussed, offering points of agreement and making shared commitments.
Expanding on the content of the testimonies, the new reflections add further commentary and critiques as the bishops move forward in their ongoing dialogue.
Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has written an introductory essay for the compilation, which provides context for the Bishops in Dialogue Consultation and testimonies and praises the new publication as “both gift and invitation to the Communion.”
Contributors offering reflections include:
- Emmanuel D. Mbennah, PhD, vice chancellor of St. John University, Dodoma, Tanzania;
- Robert S. Heaney, PhD, director of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies, Virginia Theological Seminary, USA;
- The Most Rev. Francisco de Assis da Silva, Primate of Brazil and diocesan in Santa Maria;
- The Rev. Canon Dr. Makhosi Nzimande, Anglican Church of Southern Africa;
- The Rt. Rev. Nicholas Baines, bishop of the diocese of Leeds; and
- Ephraim Radner, Wycliffe College, Toronto School of Theology, visiting scholar at the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France.
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