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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter has three sections. The first is historical and reviews the sequence of events that lies behind the present state of the establishment of the Church of England. The second is contextual and considers the factors that must be taken into account in order to understand the religious situation in modern Britain. The notion of ‘vicarious religion’ is central to this discussion. The third section deals with the place of an established church in a society which is both increasingly secular and increasingly diverse. Throughout, the emphasis lies on creative thinking about the role of establishment in a modern democracy, paying careful attention to the advantages of a ‘weak’ established church. A final paragraph introduces a global perspective, specifically the Anglican Communion.

Keywords: Anglican Communion, Church of England, establishment in England, European context, history, religion in modern Britain, vicarious religion, a weak established church.

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