Thinking Anglicans

The historical identity of the Church of England

Christopher Howse writes today in the Telegraph about Anglicans who’ve lost their memory.

Like an unwatched pan of milk, readers of the Church Times have seethed up and boiled over in response to an analysis of the Church of England by the ever-controversial historian Jonathan Clark…

Here are the links to the Church Times pages where this debate has proceeded:

First, Jonathan Clark wrote an article The C of E needs a strong story.

The next week, there were several letters in response, under the headline The new historiography: is an Anglican via media still defensible? from Jeremy Morris, Simon Heans and Andrew Burnham.

The following week, there was a further letter from Christopher Scargill and a response from Jonathan Clark, at The Church of England’s historical identity.

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Robert Ian williams
Robert Ian williams
12 years ago

A very important issue..as one who knows their history has a sense of their present and future.

Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

“It may be superficially surprising that feminism and gay rights should today occupy so much of the attention of Anglicans, but the historian must discover why that is appropriately the case. What is really at issue is au­thority, and that is ultimately histor­ically grounded.” – Jonathan Clarke – J. Clarke’s inference that the Church of England, and Anglicans in general, have lost their sense of history, presupposes that any movement away from past ‘certainties’ in dogmatic theological speculation are out of character and therefore antithetical to being true ‘Church’. This is precisely why the Roman Catholics are themselves at present… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“To imagine that the Church has to remain in the ‘dark ages’ without the Enlightenment, is to remain at the mercy of historians” This can be taken too far, though. There are certain things about the preEnlightenment period that we have lost to our detriment. A better understanding of myth, for one thing, less arrogance that our knowledge will, or even already has, answered all questions about the Universe, a better appreciation of the more abstract facets of existence. Not that they had it right, either. Take a thing like visions. We need to see such things as nothing more… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

If there is a crisis in the Catholic Church , it is because of the poor discipline meeted out against dissenters.

Excommunicate is the loving response and Divine pattern…..if you love smeone you tell them the truth, not what they want to hear,

The opposite of love is indifference.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“If there is a crisis in the Catholic Church , it is because of the poor discipline meeted out against dissenters” Because the discipline meted out around 500 years ago by Rome certainly served to silence those pesky, what were they called….oh yes, Protestants. I believe it all started with someone whose name I think was Luter, or Buther or something. It’s hard to find anything about him or the movement he started, since Rome’s discipline was so effective in quelling that little bunch of rabble rousers. I can’t think what would have happened had Rome been more willing to… Read more »

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