Rev. Dr. Miranda Hassett received her Ph.D. in anthropology before becoming an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church. In her book, Anglican Communion in Crisis: How Episcopal Dissidents and Their African Allies are Reshaping Anglicanism, she explores how political polarization drove a global wedge in the Anglican church, driving some conservative white American Episcopalians to break from the broader American church, instead allying with conservative African congregations. Rev. Hassett continues using anthropological methods today to better understand her congregants at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Madison, Wisconsin, and discusses how anthropology can help people foster more meaning in their lives.
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Since our conversation, and in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, Rev. Miranda and her church are working to learn and connect as allies with their local Latinx immigrant community, and are also getting more involved in supporting GSAFE (gsafewi.org), an organization that supports GLBTQ+ kids and allies in Wisconsin schools.
More information on Rev. Miranda Hassett and the material discussed in this episode:
Personal blog: http://revmirandah.me
Parish webpage: St. Dunstans Episcopal Church
Dr. Hassett’s ethnography of Episcopal churches in North Carolina and Uganda: Anglican Communion in Crisis: How Episcopal Dissidents and Their African Allies Are Reshaping Anglicanism
For more information on the Anthropology of Religion:
Blogs and other readings on Anglicanism and the Episcopal Church: