This Far by Faith

Tradition and Change in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

Edited by David R. Contosta

Paperback - £26.95

Publication date:

15 July 2012

Length of book:

408 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271052458

The history of the Diocese of Pennsylvania is in many ways a history of the Episcopal Church at large. It remains one of the largest and most influential dioceses in the national church. Its story has paralleled and illustrated the challenges and accomplishments of the wider denomination—and of issues that concern the American people as a whole. In This Far by Faith, ten professional historians provide the first complete history of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. It will become essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the history and significance of the Episcopal Church and of its evolution in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Aside from the editor, the contributors are Charles Cashdollar, Marie Conn, William W. Cutler III, Deborah Mathias Gough, Ann Greene, Sheldon Hackney, Emma J. Lapsansky-Werner, William Pencak, and Thomas F. Rzeznik.

“With telling detail and compelling narrative, the essays in This Far by Faith track the origins and evolution of an important diocese that charted ‘a middle way’ for American Christianity over four centuries. Throughout the book the authors show a diocese struggling with such varied, but intersecting, issues as a changing geographical and demographic compass, race, doctrinal disputes, discipline, and personality. This Far by Faith opens the red door to the whole church, from pulpit to pews. In doing so, it provides a most sensitive and sensible examination of a diocese as a living organism. It also provides a model for writing church history hereafter. It is, then, a book that transcends its subject and invites anyone interested in American religion to consider its method and meaning.”

—Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph’s University