Guyer’s Weblog

March 23, 2009

Theses on Anglicanism

Filed under: Communio Anglicana,Meta-Category,Theologoumena — guyer @ 10:17 pm

I. Anglican history comprises two distinct ecclesiological streams.  The first is that of monarchical Anglicanism, which began with Henry VIII; this was the dominant stream for more than 300 years.  The second is that of the Anglican Communion, which began with the first Lambeth Conference; this is now the dominant stream at both the international and national (i.e., provincial) levels.  The Anglican Communion is a non-monarchical church (ekklesia) that depends first and foremost upon the apostolic succession of bishops as a guarantee of its historic, catholic nature.

II. The Anglican reformation was not, as is commonly claimed, primarily political and only secondarily theological.  The enthronement of the monarch as the “supreme head” of the Church of England was as much a theological development as it was a political development.  Thus, Anglican history and theology cannot be understood without paying close attention to the history and theology of monarchy.

III. Anglicanism must re-conceive itself as a portion of the catholic Church that was once monarchical, but is now post-monarchical.  Anglicanism has yet to conceive of itself as post-monarchical, and it cannot do this until it understands what it meant for it to have once been monarchical.

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