History is at the very least a slippery business and every effort to produce a satisfying meal from the look back is likely to come out too salty or too sweet. Still it is important to work at a reasonable description of the movements of peoples, ideas, armies, religions, plagues and such, with the hope in finding there some hints about why we are about our work today.
There has been a lot written about Anglicanism, and almost every effort has included an attempt to trace the work of the Lambeth Conferences as it relates to the development of what I have sometimes referred to as Anglican Land. No matter that Anglican Land is mostly a state of mind, in that state (and goodness knows we are in that state often) the character of this first "instrument" of unity is important. Lambeth is the first because it grew from various suggestions "out there" in the greater Anglican world. It remains an open question as to whether or not it is an instrument of unity or has built into it an instrument of disunity as well.
Christopher Webber and The Episcopal Majority web site have begun posting a longish essay by Webber titled, "A Brief History of the Lambeth Conference: Unity and Diversity." If the first installment is any sign it is brief, helpful and well written. Which is, naturally, to be expected from Chris Webber and the editor at The Episcopal Majority.
Go read it HERE. And check in every few days on The Episcopal Majority website for next chapters.