Monday, June 19, 2006

The Split within Anglicanism

There may be two religions within Anglicanism: one side Anglo-catholic and liberal, the other Evangelical and conservative. The Episcopal Church in the US is clearly on one side. The real question is where does the Church of England want to be?

160 years ago the Evangelical movement in the CoE sent out missionaries, and the result is many of the churches we see in Africa and Asia. At the same time, Anglo-Catholics sent its troops into the East End and other urban areas, and transformed the religious practice of the Church of England. The result is the modern Church of England, Scottish Episcopal Church, and US Episcopal Church.

No Anglican bishop before Edward King of Lincoln, around 1900, wore a mitre for example. Anglo-Catholicism's ritual reforms became so normal that it is simply not realized how odd modern CoE services would appear to most Victorian-era Anglicans. It's also clear that very few of the remaining members of the Church of England are "Evangelical" in anything resembling what the word means in the US, Africa, or Asia.

The choice for the CoE is clear: it should stick with its American and Scottish sister churches.

Ref Daily Telegraph Leader, 6/19/2006

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