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date: 23 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter begins by exploring the question of the distinctiveness of Anglican ecclesiology within the spectrum of the major Christian traditions. It continues by asking to what extent Anglican ecclesiology can be identified as (a) Protestant; (b) Catholic; (c) catholic and reformed; (d) a ‘middle way’. The chapter then examines the origin and meaning of the terms ‘Anglican’ and ‘Anglicanism’ and goes on to explain what is meant by the Anglican Communion as ‘a communion of churches’ in the sense of the New Testament terms koinōnia/communio and whether this ideal is sustainable in the present global context of radical differences in theology and ethics. The chapter concludes with an account of the origins of episcopacy and of the valuations that Anglicans place on it in the context of their total ecclesiology.

Keywords: Anglican Communion, Anglican ecclesiology, catholic and reformed, Catholicism, development, episcopacy, holy order, koinōnia/communio, middle way/via media, Protestantism

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