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date: 16 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Ecclesiology is fundamental to an understanding of the Oxford Movement. The catalyst of the Movement was the political modification of the Anglican confessional state, which was a significant challenge to earlier Anglican understandings of the Church. In response, a distinctive Tractarian ecclesiology was developed in Christopher Wordsworth’s Theophilus Anglicanus, John Henry Newman’s via media ecclesiology, particularly in his Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the Church, William Palmer’s exposition of the ‘Branch Theory’ of the Church, W. G. Ward’s Ideal of a Christian Church, John Keble’s ‘Anglican theory of Church Unity’ and Robert Isaac Wilberforce’s theological understanding of the Church as the ‘extension of the Incarnation’.

Keywords: apostolic succession, Church principles, mystical body, tradition, Anglo-Catholicism, branch theory, via media

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