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Anglicanism

Anglicanism, from the Latin Anglicana ecclesia (lit., English Church), as found in clause 1 of Magna Carta, 1215, used to differentiate the ‘English Church’ from the Church elsewhere in Europe even if under the jurisdiction of the king of England: it was subsequently, in the Act of Supremacy in 1534, described as the Church of England, which Henry VIII also described as Anglicana Ecclesia to distinguish it as the Church over which he alone had the power of authority and reform. ‘Anglicanism’ is now used to describe the diverse character, practice, and faith of 37 autonomous Churches of the international Anglican Communion and its c.70 million members world-wide. It is held together by the Lambeth Conferences, Primates' meetings, and the Anglican Consultative Council. Structurally, therefore, it resembles the diffused but collegial responsibilities of the Orthodox Church much more than it does the centralizing control of the Vatican in Roman Catholicism. In different parts of the Anglican Communion it may carry a different name, as e.g. ECUSA (the Episcopal Church in the USA), the Church of Ireland, the Scottish Episcopal Church, Nippon Sei Ko Kai (the Holy Catholic Church of Japan). In addition to the Provinces of Canterbury and York, the main Churches and Provinces are in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia; Australia; Brazil; Burundi; Canada; Central Africa; Indian Ocean; Ireland; Japan; Jerusalem and the Middle East; Kenya; Korea; Melanesia; Mexico; Myanmar; Nigeria; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Rwanda; Scotland; SE Asia; S. Africa; S. Cone of America; Sudan; Tanzania; Uganda; USA; Wales; W. Africa; W. Indies; Zaire.

Anglicanism is an episcopal (with bishops) Church, in continuity with Catholicism, but also accepting much from the Reformation. It is thus described as ‘both Catholic and reformed’. The via media ‘Reformed Catholicism’ of the 17th cent. ‘Caroline Divines’ is deemed more in keeping with the spirit of Anglicanism today than the strong Protestantism of Bishop Jewel's earlier Apology of the Church of England (1562); and via media has often been used as a description of Anglicanism. This ‘comprehensiveness’ is the experience of shared and tolerating faith which characterizes such Anglicans as Richard Hooker, William Temple and Desmond Tutu.

There is nevertheless a common focus in that Anglican theology is based on an appeal to scripture, tradition, and reason, expanded in the dictum of Lancelot Andrewes: ‘One canon,… two testaments, three creeds, four general councils, five centuries and the series of fathers in that period … determine the boundary of our faith.’ Comprehensiveness involves a necessary agreement on certain ‘Fundamentals’ (as the 1968 Lambeth report stressed) and a containing of both Protestant and Catholic elements in a national Church. It may thus still be ‘the privilege of a particular vocation’, as the 1948 Lambeth Conference held, for the Anglican Communion to contain in microcosm the diversity elsewhere divided into disparate denominations.

Anglicanism's pioneering role in ecumenicism had an early start (e.g., individual explorations of reunion with the Orthodox), but takes its rise in modern times from the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (usually referred to simply as the Lambeth Quadrilateral) of 1888, prompted by W. R. Huntingdon's The Church Idea (1870). It identifies four elements ‘on which approach may be, by God's blessing, made toward Home Reunion’, namely, the holy scriptures as containing all things necessary for salvation, the Creeds as the sufficient statement of Christian faith, the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and ‘the Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations called of God into the Unity of His Church.’ There have been some practical results, as in the former Churches of N. and S. India: Methodists and Anglicans are close to recovering the unity from which they began; in 1993, conversations between British and Irish Anglican Churches and Nordic and Baltic Lutheran Churches produced the Porvoo Common Statement (the Porvoo Declaration, 1993), which called for a relationship of communion, with structures for collegial consultation and interchangeable ministries; this was approved by participating Churches in 1995. Otherwise, there have been continuing agreed statements and conversations, as with Lutherans, Reformed Churches, Orthodoxy and Roman Catholics (see ARCIC).

Underlying all of the foregoing has been a long and deep commitment to a practical spirituality.

It is a tradition in which a creationist poet like Thomas Traherne, an apologist like C. S. Lewis, or a writer like T. S. Eliot can equally explore God's truth in Christ in relation to the glory and misery and mystery of life; it is a tradition which turned Wilberforce to the abolition of slavery and Archbishop Trevor Huddleston to the abolition of apartheid. It is the theological and spiritual context in which an incarnational sacramentalism prevails.

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"Anglicanism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Anglicanism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/anglicanism

Anglicanism

Anglicanism

see Christianity, Anglicanism, Issues in Science and Religion

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"Anglicanism." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/anglicanism

Anglicanism

Anglicanism. See Church of England.

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"Anglicanism." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Anglicanism." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/anglicanism

"Anglicanism." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/anglicanism