Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What is this Anglicanism thing?

Confused or bemused about what Anglicanism is or ought to be, Anglicans plough on with working out who we are, why we exist, what we could or should become. Ahead of a post or two I have previously signaled re diverse matters such as rubrics and GAFCON, I offer a couple of paragraphs posted on Euangelion by Michael Bird, cited from Stanley Hauerwas, with his own an interesting editorial note. Hauerwas, incidentally, could be described as an accidental Episcopalian:

"“Anglicanism is the name for the ongoing attempt to enact the interdependent character of churches in a manner that, in Kaye’s words, accomplishes ‘Catholicity without Leviathan’” (275). [NB from MB, I should add that in some cases Anglicanism can be like Protestantism without the Reformation or like Catholicity without Nicea].

“Anabaptists and Anglicans are seldom thought to share a common ecclesiology, but Kaye and Yoder have very similar understandings of the Catholic character of the church. I have often described my ecclesial identity to be that of a ‘high church Mennonite’ – to be sure, a descriptor originally designed to confuse my critics. But in light of the account of the catholic character of the church Yoder and Kaye provide, I hope my self-designation can be understood as a viable future for the church”"

The whole post, with reference to the original article by Hauerwas is here.

'Kaye' must be 'Bruce Kaye', a noted Australian Anglican writer and scholar (whom I had the pleasure of re-meeting at the recent SNTS conference in Perth).

Is anyone reading here a 'high church Mennonite'? 

As a counterpoint I think I would describe myself as a low church conciliar (i.e. synodical) Catholic!


Anonymous said...

Er... No.

But I would describe myself as High Church Evangelical Charismatic, or Anglo-Cathlolic-Pentecostal!

I would no longer describe myself as Calvinist.

God has been at work on my mind and heart in a powerful way over the last few weeks. Many things have or are changing for me.

Tim Chesterton said...

I would gladly describe myself as an Anabaptist Anglican, with all the built-in tensions that entails.

Bryden Black said...

Sorry to be boring; but Reformed and Catholic, Catholic and Reformed would be a good start. Subsequent qualifiers like evangelical, charismatic, low, broad, high, whatever have too much 'reader response' jerkiness to help nowadays!

Anonymous said...

Your never boring Bryden!

I agree with you that Reformed Catholic, a fusion of Reformation principles (the five Sola's) with Catholic tradition is the best description of Anglicanism. But that's still a broad descriptor within which other qualifiers (Lutheran-Calvinist-Charismatic....) may exist.

By the way, my own journey out of Calvinism to a more Anglo-Lutheran-Charismatic theology is entirely your fault! ;) The conversation we had about human systems being imposed on Scripture was the catalyst.

If I remember right I owe you lunch and a beer. Let's get in touch soon.

Anonymous said...

Make that Anglo-Celtic Charsmatic. :) That makes far more sense of where I am theologically and spiritually.

liturgy said...

I am an orthodox charismatic evangelical catholic.
And Anglicanism is catholicism without the additions and protestantism without the subtractions.



Anonymous said...

"I am an orthodox charismatic evangelical catholic."

An evangelical is one who believes in the inspiration and sufficiency of Scripture, and the centrality of the atoning sacrifice of Christ. That's certainly how Cranmer put it in The Book of Homilies. How is Anglicanism different from the Orthodox Churches of the East? Does it possess the same ministry and sacraments? What is 'protestantism with subtractions'? How are non-Anglican Protestant churches defective in their ministry or doctrine?

liturgy said...

Thanks for being helpful as ever, Martin.

Could you be just a bit more helpful for us and provide the actual quote where Cranmer gives his opinion that this defines an evangelical. And the reference. You could use the actual URL for people here who may not (shockingly!) have actually read the Homilies (from http://www.anglicanlibrary.org/homilies/index.htm)



hogsters said...

Re Argument to Stephen Fry:

Brilliant in logic and delivery.

Anonymous said...

Sola Scriptura = Protestant - Protestant = Sola Scriptura.

I'm unsure how anyone who rejects Sola Scriptura can lay claim to being Protestant in any accurate and meaningful sense of that term.

Father Ron Smith said...

From most of the above comments, it would seem that many people are very confused about their spiritual provenance. Having been an Anglican for 84 years - from Baptism until now - I have no doubt that this will see me through until the Rapture!

Bryden Black said...

Wow Ron! I wld never have picked it! You a Pre-Trib Premillennialist! As well as a baptised Anglican ... Tone: v tongue in cheek ;))

Anonymous said...

Sorry Ron, we have all missed the Rapture! We are the ones left behind. :)

Anonymous said...

I am a Catholic (Latin rite: novus ordo et usus antiquior). I hope no-one minds.


Anonymous said...


I don't mind at all. I was a practicing RC for a few years (convert). I still love the Latin rite, though at the time I had to sneak off to breakaway group to hear it.

Caleb said...

I'm kind of a high church Mennonite... I spent a year in a Catholic church in 2011 and enjoyed it more than most churches. Now I'm a card-carrying Anglican after being confirmed in a transitional cathedral that might be a Mennonite's favourite version of high church-ism. And I'm still the membership secretary of the Australia/NZ Anabaptist Association.

Caleb said...

Oh, I'm also a literal Anabaptist - I was baptised Methodist as a baby and Baptist when I was 16.

Anonymous said...

Bosco - glad to be of help.

Cranmer's teaching on the inspiration and sufficiency of Scripture can be found in Homily 1, 'Exhortation to Scripture' (see second sentence in particular), and his teaching on penal substitution in 'Homily on the Salvation of Mankind', which states that Christ's blood was shed 'to assuage (God's) wrath and indignation conceived against us' and 'as the satisfaction of God's justice'. Stewart Townend understood Cranmer!
Cranmer's Book of Homilies can be easily googled.

Martin Bucer Epigonus

Anonymous said...

They give out cards for membership in the AC? Why didin't I get one!? I want my Anglican membership card please! ;)

I don't remember my baptism, way too young, one of the flaws in child baptism (experientially, not talking about theology). But my confirmation at Holy Cross Chapel (RC) was a profound experience.

Anonymous said...

re Cranmer's homily on Salvation. read Eamon Duffy's Fires of Faith ( Catholic England under Mary Tudor) and interested to learn that the Marian homilies included a new one on"On the Redemption of Man" drawing on Greek Patristic Theology..see Duffy's remarks p67.
bit off topic but it shows the divisions were there in the very middle of the English reformation...

Perry ( Canterbury) but just back from a high Church Lutheran parish in Lund with lots of students...ethos decidedly evangelical catholic and rather more "together" than much religion here in the dear old C of E