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Anglicanism

1. Terminology and Definition: – Origin of Anglicanism in ‘Anglicana ecclesia libera sit’ from Magna Carta – Adherents called Anglicans – Anglican term used for […]

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1. Terminology and Definition:
– Origin of Anglicanism in ‘Anglicana ecclesia libera sit’ from Magna Carta
– Adherents called Anglicans
– Anglican term used for people, institutions, liturgical traditions
– Anglicanism as a middle ground between Lutheran and Reformed Protestantism
– Characterized as a ‘via media’ between Protestantism and Catholicism
– Faith based on Scriptures, Gospels, Apostolic Church traditions
– Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed significant statements of faith

2. History and Development:
– Anglicanism declared independence from the Holy See during Elizabethan Religious Settlement
– Reforms in the mid-16th century aligned with historical Protestantism
– Spread through British Empire and Christian missions in the 19th century
– Queen Elizabeth I established a uniform faith and practice in 1559
– Book of Common Prayer as a principal tie binding the Anglican Communion
– Anglicanism developed distinctively from Roman Christianity

3. Beliefs and Practices:
– Anglicans base faith on Bible, apostolic traditions, apostolic succession
– Anglicanism seen as catholic and reformed
– Book of Common Prayer significant liturgical tradition
– Emphasis on traditional sacraments, especially the Eucharist
– Consecrated bread and wine convey forgiveness and cleansing from sin

4. Structure and Identity:
– Archbishop’s role in Anglican hierarchy
– Anglicanism as a branch of Western Christianity
– Anglicanism described as a ‘via media’ between Protestantism and Catholicism
– Identity shaped by the Book of Common Prayer
– Roots in Celtic Christianity and Roman influence

5. Theological Debates and Doctrines:
– Tractarian movement leaders and their views
– Debate on Anglicanism as a middle way between Lutheranism and Reformed Christianity
– Theological distinctives of Anglicanism
– Role of the Book of Common Prayer in shaping beliefs
– Authority in scripture, reason, tradition, and key doctrinal elements like the Thirty-Nine Articles

Anglicanism (Wikipedia)

Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition which developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation, in the context of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. It is one of the largest branches of Christianity, with around 110 million adherents worldwide as of 2001.

Adherents of Anglicanism are called Anglicans; they are also called Episcopalians in some countries. The majority of Anglicans are members of national or regional ecclesiastical provinces of the international Anglican Communion, which forms the third-largest Christian communion in the world, after the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the world's largest Protestant communion. These provinces are in full communion with the See of Canterbury and thus with the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom the communion refers to as its primus inter pares (Latin, 'first among equals'). The archbishop calls the decennial Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of primates, and is the president of the Anglican Consultative Council. Some churches that are not part of the Anglican Communion or recognised by it also call themselves Anglican, including those that are within the Continuing Anglican movement and Anglican realignment.

Anglicans base their Christian faith on the Bible, traditions of the apostolic church, apostolic succession ("historic episcopate"), and the writings of the Church Fathers, as well as historically, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion and The Books of Homilies. Anglicanism forms a branch of Western Christianity, having definitively declared its independence from the Holy See at the time of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. Many of the Anglican formularies of the mid-16th century correspond closely to those of historical Protestantism. These reforms were understood by one of those most responsible for them, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and others as navigating a middle way between two of the emerging Protestant traditions, namely Lutheranism and Calvinism.

In the first half of the 17th century, the Church of England and the associated Church of Ireland were presented by some Anglican divines as comprising a distinct Christian tradition, with theologies, structures, and forms of worship representing a different kind of middle way, or via media, originally between Lutheranism and Calvinism, and later between Protestantism and Catholicism – a perspective that came to be highly influential in later theories of Anglican identity and expressed in the description of Anglicanism as "catholic and reformed". The degree of distinction between Protestant and Catholic tendencies within Anglicanism is routinely a matter of debate both within specific Anglican churches and the Anglican Communion. Unique to Anglicanism is the Book of Common Prayer, the collection of services in one prayer book used for centuries. The book is acknowledged as a principal tie which binds the Anglican Communion together as a liturgical tradition.

After the American Revolution, Anglican congregations in the United States and British North America (which would later form the basis for the modern country of Canada) were each reconstituted into autonomous churches with their own bishops and self-governing structures; these were known as the American Episcopal Church and the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada. Through the expansion of the British Empire and the activity of Christian missions, this model was adopted as the model for many newly formed churches, especially in Africa, Australasia, and the Asia-Pacific. In the 19th century, the term Anglicanism was coined to describe the common religious tradition of these churches and also that of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which, though originating earlier within the Church of Scotland, had come to be recognised as sharing this common identity.

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