Augustine’s Relic

Lessons from the Oldest Book in England

Kirk Smith

Mar/2016, 184 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5 x 7

ISBN-13: 9780819232267



• Written by an active bishop, who is also a medievalist and a natural story-teller
• Brings the medieval and the modern together

Spending time with the St Augustine's Gospels, believed to be the oldest non-archeological object in Great Britain, Smith uses this great volume as a starting point for a contemporary conversation on communication, unity, and continuity. How does the church find that connection with its past, its present, and its future? How do we share the Good News using today's media, and how do we learn more about that process by considering vellum and quills? A wonderful story-teller, Smith moves seamlessly between the medieval world and the modern.

Audience: Those interested in learning from the past as we face the current challenges of the church both within the US and across the world.

Read an excerpt

Kirk Smith was elected Bishop of Arizona in 2003 and lives in Phoenix. He has served parishes in Connecticut and California. With an undergraduate degree in history, Smith earned a PhD in medieval church history from Cornell University. He studied for holy orders at Berkeley Seminary at Yale before being ordained a priest in 1980 through the auspices of his home diocese of Arizona. He lives in Phoenix, AZ.

Bishop Smith, himself a post-modern example of ancient tradition, asserts a sixth-century relic models what the church most needs today: taking good news to the margins with new media. Some Christians have always done this, and it will bring us together. Read and tweet!
—Katharine Jefferts Schori
26th Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church

In a time when the church is seeking to use the riches of its traditions to speak to new cultural contexts, Kirk Smith focuses our attention on one beautiful treasure. Augustine's relic serves as an Anglican Rosetta Stone, an aid in deci¬phering how to energize the contemporary church for the sake of the Gospel.
—Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski
Associate Professor of History, Seminary of the Southwest

No longer think of an ancient manuscript as old and musty. In Kirk Smith's intriguing and informative telling, the St. Augustine Gospels is seen as a revolutionary way of mission in its time and a challenge to Christians today to discover their own advanced means for sharing gospel faith and service.
—Bishop Frederick Borsch, most recently Chair of Anglican Studies and Professor of New Testament at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

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  • Missiology
  • History
  • Augustine

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