Craig, Barry L. 1960–
Craig, Barry L. 1960–
Born May 20, 1960. Education: King College, B.A.; Dalhousie University, M.A.; University of Wales, Ph.D.
Writer and educator. St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, associate professor of philosophy, 1997—.
Apostle to the Wilderness: Bishop John Medley and the Evolution of the Anglican Church, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (Madison, NJ), 2005.
Barry L. Craig is a graduate of Dalhousie University and the University of Wales. In 1997, Craig accepted the position of assistant professor of philosophy at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Craig's research interests include western philosophy and the works of early medieval theologians and scholars such as Dante Alighieri, St. Augustus, and St. Thomas Aquinas.
In 2005, Craig published his first book, Apostle to the Wilderness: Bishop John Medley and the Evolution of the Anglican Church. The text, as described by a contributor's article for Reference & Research Book News, follows the formation of "a pluralistic Canadian society" through a study of the life of John Medley, a prominent Anglican bishop who lived from 1804 to 1892. Craig "argues that Medley was too theologically diverse and too ecclesiastically pragmatic to be neatly categorized as a Tractarian," according to Alan L. Hayes in a review for Church History. Tractarianism, named for its successively published works, was a nineteenth-century Anglican movement that favored a more conservative theological tradition and believed that there existed a balanced relationship between the Anglican, Orthodox, and Catholic churches. Craig's explanation of Medley's evolution past this movement establishes the bishop as an early Protestant rather than a continuing reformer of the Anglican Church. Hayes observed: "As Medley began addressing the practical problems of a struggling church in the wilderness, he deviated significantly from the Tractarian model," and Craig describes how Medley later "identified himself as a Protestant."
In order to accurately convey Medley's transition to Protestantism, Craig examined the bishop's sermons and remaining personal writings; consequently, Hayes noted, "while Craig has mined the surviving material extensively and thoroughly, what distinguishes this book from previous studies … is not the source material but the historiographical framework." The framework Hayes commented upon is Craig's use of historian Peter Nockles's work, in addition to available primary source materials, as a foundation for a theory that places Medley's episcopacy in the context of an "eclectically High-Church" model rather than an exclusively Tractarian one. Hayes pointed out that Craig puts forth a view of "contemporary evangelical Anglicanism" as "multiform." Although Hayes commented that Apostle to the Wilderness contains "the limitations typical of the genre," including an acute attention to ancillary historical details and a limited scope reflective of the author's views, the reviewer acknowledged that the book "contains much useful information" regarding Medley's career and the tensions within the Anglican Church during the Victorian era in Canada.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Church History, June 1, 2007, Alan L. Hayes, review of Apostle to the Wilderness: Bishop John Medley and the Evolution of the Anglican Church, p. 464.
Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2006, review of Apostle to the Wilderness.
St. Thomas University Web site,http://www.stthomasu.ca/ (August 5, 2008), author profile.