This chapter traces the Anglican commitment to, and involvement in, the ecumenical movement from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, particularly as reflected in resolutions of successive Lambeth Conferences from 1867 to 2008. It highlights the classic statement of the Anglican ecumenical vision given by the 1920 Lambeth Conference, centred on the Lambeth Quadrilateral, and the Appeal to All Christian People that the Conference issued. It considers various ecumenical developments with Anglican participation in the 1940s and 1950s and records major doctrinal agreements reached in bilateral and multilateral dialogues particularly from the 1970s onwards, as well as new stages of closer communion entered into with a number of ecumenical partners at regional levels. Increasingly, a commitment to an ecumenism of action is becoming a dominant feature of today’s ecumenical movement, although doctrinal conversations continue to search for the agreement in faith that is required and sufficient for visible unity.
This chapter considers the future of Anglicanism especially in the light of the interpretation of Scripture. It considers a recent instance of impasse and suggests a possible way forward. It goes on to discuss the contemporary issues concerning Anglican interpretations of scripture by looking at treatment of sexuality and violence. It considers hermeneutical differences among societies. The second half of the chapter questions whether the approach of scriptural reasoning that has been modelled by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scholars, in which Anglicans have played a prominent part, could assist different religions and different cultural contexts in hearing one another and learning to reason about the Bible together.
By virtue of its historical origins as well as its commitment to fundamental doctrines such as the Trinity, and the transformation of perspective as a result of ecumenism and the continuation of the Anglican Communion worldwide, Anglicans draw on an extraordinary range of resources both old and new. Reflection on scripture, saints both pre- and post-Reformation, and the willingness of present-day Christians to lay bare their own engagement with God result in a rich and demanding range of possibilities. The impact of liturgical reforms and revisions post Vatican II have resulting in the reordering of places and spaces for worship, increased sensitivity to ‘sacramentalism’ very broadly construed, attention to the arts in all their complexity, and in some cases in serious re-engagement with political and social life.
In the light of recent Anglican practice, initiated by the Anglican Primates’ taskforce, Theological Education for the Anglican Communion, to speak of ‘the Anglican Way’ rather than Anglicanism, this chapter explores whether the notion of a single ‘Anglican Way’ is feasible, given the theological diversity of Anglican history and the Anglican Communion. The chapter maintains that there are historically at least ten different ‘Anglican ways’ from the time of the Elizabethan Settlement (such as Puritanism, Latitudinarianism, Evangelicalism, Tractarianism), and describes them briefly, arguing that, interacting historically and in the present, they can be seen as contributing to a single Anglican Way. However, recognizing the tensions among these ten Anglican ways and the single Anglican Way, the chapter makes seven suggestions for resolving tensions. It then describes the new global Anglican Way that is emerging against a very narrow Anglican Way that discredits history and Anglican diversity.
The chapter focuses on the nature and character of Anglican wisdom, exploring this in the context of church structures, tradition, and truth. Drawing on a variety of different examples and contrasting wisdom with folly, it argues that, historically and in the present time, Anglican wisdom is rooted in its capacity, in the presence of God, to acknowledge and hold the complexity and contradictions of human life in all its fullness. Lacking the authority structures required to give a single definitive Anglican view on any given subject, wisdom in the churches of the Anglican Communion continues to emerge through an ongoing, collective, often fraught act of listening to God.
This chapter considers the emergence of the complex relationship between Anglicanism and a broader evangelical movement (often known as ‘pan-evangelicalism’) which transcends denominational boundaries. The origins of this relationship goes back to the sixteenth century, but became especially important from the eighteenth century onwards as a result of the ‘evangelical revival’ in England, and its extended influence. The expansion of British colonial power was an important factor in consolidating and extending an evangelical influence within Anglicanism, especially on account of the role of entrepreneurial individuals and mission societies in propagating the Christian faith. The chapter concludes with reflections on the future of this relationship, given contemporary developments within both Anglicanism and evangelicalism.
Anglicanism from the time of the Reformation has been characterized by a persistent interest in the Fathers of the church which joins authorities as diverse in date and disposition as Cranmer and Pusey or Jewel and Newman. While both the methods of reading and the conclusions drawn from considering patristic sources have varied greatly, Anglicans of different tendencies have tended to value the Fathers such as Augustine both as representing a Catholic consensus opposed to Roman and Puritan extremes, and as uniquely useful sources for theological discourse, constructive or controversial. Even where the authority of the Fathers is not regarded as theologically unique, the characteristics identified as necessary in a Church both catholic and reformed have tended to be drawn from the practice and belief of ancient Christianity, as in the Quadrilateral. Anglicanism is less a tradition characterized by confessional adherence to the Fathers as by consistent acknowledgement of its historical basis in the early Church in terms of both doctrine and dogma.
This chapter explores questions of power and authority under the headings of identity, orthodoxy and ministry. Written from a (South African) postcolonial context, and employing the method of theologies of liberation, the chapter interrogates the shifting positions of insider/ outsider identities and how these relate to who exercises power in the churches of the Anglican Communion. In turn this opens the question of who is recognized as holding the authority to define contemporary orthodoxy. Finally, in considering the relationship of leadership to authority and power, some reflections on the question of the churches’ mission to draw in those on the margins are offered.
Steven R. Harmon
While the Baptist tradition has not always been associated with ecumenical engagement in the minds of its observers or of Baptists themselves, this chapter highlights the overt and implicit ecumenical commitments that historically have marked this free church tradition. These include the congregational interdependence that is a dimension of Baptist ecclesiology, Baptist participation in the institutions of the modern ecumenical movement, Baptist participation in formal ecumenical dialogue, Baptist involvement in church union discussions, and the manner in which the Baptist tradition has received various aspects of other Christian traditions. The chapter proposes that the paradigm of receptive ecumenism reframes Baptist identity as being more ecumenically open than previously appreciated and has the potential to encourage new forms of Baptist contribution to ecumenical convergence.
From the time of the Reformation, the Bible has always been among the primary sources for Anglicanism. Through a close study of biblical hermeneutics, this chapter reflects on how ‘scripture’ has been located among the other primary sources, tradition, and reason, at various stages and in different places within Anglican history. The chapter then goes on to argue that context ought to be considered a fourth primary source for Anglicanism. Drawing on postcolonial Anglican biblical interpretation and the experience of various stages of imperial expansion, particularly from a Southern African Anglican context, the chapter analyses how context reconfigures the other three primary sources.
Kim Micah Eun-Kya
This chapter searches the new identity of Post-Anglicanism beyond Anglicanism in the age of the global empires. The British Empire and Anglicanism were a two-wheeled vehicle during the colonial period. Anglicanism can be understood as justifying a ruling ideology in colonial ages just as the Pax Romana justified the Roman Empire under the slogan of the expansion of the Kingdom of God. This can be called the Pax Anglicana. How then can Post-Anglicanism frame the future of the Communion? It needs to take seriously today’s global contexts in the light of Minjung (the oppressed) in Asia, Latin America, Africa. For this we need to read the Bible against the background of the society and religion of ancient Israel and their links with ancient empires. And it has to reconstruct Anglicanism in terms of justice, peace, and religious dialogue against the global empire.
The Anglican Communion has recently experienced a sea change in its understanding of and approach to canon law, hitherto a matter lacking worldwide attention amongst Anglicans. Whilst the worldwide Communion has no global system of canon law applicable to its member churches, each church (or Province) is autonomous, with its own system of law and government. These individual legal systems deal with such subjects as government, ministry, doctrine, liturgy and ritual, and church property. However, in recent years there have been key developments. The chapter describes, explains (particularly in the context of the juridical experiences of other international ecclesial communities which are ecumenical partners of Anglicans), and evaluates the process leading up to, and the terms of, the document the Principles of Canon Law Common to the Churches of the Anglican Communion, launched at the Lambeth Conference 2008, and the juridical aspects and issues which relate to the Anglican Communion Covenant.
This chapter discusses charismatic renewal within Anglicanism. It begins with a brief description of charismatic Christian spirituality and its roots. The charismatic renewal movements of the 1960s and their Pentecostal origins, in the US and Britain, and their impact on Episcopal and Anglican churches are reviewed. Tensions between those within these renewal movements and the established churches are discussed. The chapter includes an overview of charismatic Christianity around the globe, and of the forms of worship and theology generally associated with charismatic renewal.
For more than half a century, Rousas John Rushdoony and his followers have articulated and disseminated what they understand to be a biblical worldview, based in aspects of traditional reformed theology and both the Old and New Testaments. This worldview seeks to apply biblical law to every aspect of life and to transform every aspect of culture to establish the Kingdom of God. While some components of their vision are so extreme that Christian Reconstructionists are often dismissed as an irrelevant fringe group, other aspects of their vision have taken root in conservative American Protestantism, especially in the Christian homeschool movement, and therefor influenced American conservatism more broadly. This essay outlines that worldview and points to some of those areas of influence.
The churches of the Anglican Communion discussed issues of sex and gender throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. Arguments about gender focused on the ordination of women to the diaconate, priesthood, and episcopate. Debates about sexuality covered polygamy, divorce and remarriage, and homosexuality. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, these debates became intensely focused on homosexuality and were particularly fierce as liberals and conservatives responded to openly gay bishops and the blessing and marriage of same-sex couples. By the second decade of the twenty-first century, the sex and gender debates had become less acrimonious, the Anglican Communion had not split on these issues as some feared, but the ‘disconnect’ between society and the Church, at least in the West, on issues such as the Church of England’s prevarication on female bishops and opposition to gay marriage, had decreased the Church’s credibility for many.
This essay examines conflicts concerning sex, sexuality, and gender within Black churches. Black churches are American Protestant churches with a predominantly Black leadership and congregation. Often serving the oppressed and underprivileged, Black churches have a history not only of providing for the spiritual needs of Black Americans, but also of fighting for social justice. Increasingly, controversies have begun to emerge within these churches, about gender equality, HIV/AIDS and safer sex education, and, perhaps the most controversial, about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. This essay discusses how Black churches have responded to these issues and the impact that HIV/AIDS has had on this response. Additionally, examples of the role of women and sexual minorities in Black church denominations and congregations will be provided.
The rapidly growing discipline of Congregational Studies, which draws on insights from across a number of different academic field, offers a particularly interesting and relatively dispassionate way of understanding and comparing different forms of congregational life from a detailed analysis of the lived experience of communities so as to develop what has been called a congregational ecology. Congregational life displays elements of social capital as well as conflict. Across many different denominations and in different contexts this area of study has been able to show that there are important commonalities as well as some distinctive differences between churches and congregations. This chapter will suggest how Congregational Studies might be used effectively to understand and locate these commonalities and differences within the different churches, and connected communities of worldwide Anglicanism.
The history and continuing presence of British colonialism are inseparable from the past and present shape of the Anglican world. This has meant the spreading of a localized, specific form of Reformation Christianity in domains of the former British Empire, and the negotiation of how its local theology would interact with the multitude of local languages, cultures, and socio-religious practices. The reality of geopolitical, religio-cultural contextualities continues to challenge the resources of Anglicanism. This chapter explores some of the hermeneutics, methods, and varieties of cultural diversity involved in incarnating different varieties of Anglicanism. It argues that the work of moving beyond ‘civilizational confinement’ involves a theological hermeneutics that honours multiple layers of identity and culture, and necessitates the difficult work of restoring and transforming relationships.
What skills and knowledge does one require for ministerial formation? It is a question to which a variety of answers could be offered—from several different parts of the Anglican Communion, and from different ages. Attention to scripture and tradition could be assumed; but not, perhaps, the levels and types of critical engagement. The necessary arts and skills as well as the character and wisdom required for the exercise of ministry may vary from culture to culture. The curriculum will vary too, according to the ecclesial ethos of the seminary or college and the cultural context of the future ministers. Identifying the common curricular denominators in the training of Anglican clergy across the Communion will not be a straightforward matter: one cannot assume a reservoir of putatively transferable skills and knowledge that will work in all Provinces. This chapter considers the contexts and challenges Anglican theological education and ministerial training faces today.
Seth L. Bryant, Henri Gooren, Rick Phillips, and David G. Stewart Jr.
This chapter first traces the historical framework of Mormon conversion in the nineteenth-century church forward into the twentieth century. Next the chapter analyzes the reorganization of the mission program and the church administration through the 1960s Correlation program. Subsequent sections on contemporary conversion and retention in Mormonism follow a geographical approach, dealing first with the United States and subsequently with Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The conclusion develops ideas on Mormon conversion and traces the origin of the current low retention rates in developing countries to the new policies of the 1960s. More recent changes in mission policies were defined in 1985 and 2004, which consequently had a substantial impact on missionary and convert recruitment.