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The Identity of Anglicanism: Essentials of Anglican Ecclesiology

, 2008
ISBN: 9780567032041
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Anglicanism can be wonderful, mystifying, and infuriating. For some, it is an expression of the Church catholic, going back to the early Church and the apostles. For others it is a pragmatic compromise dating from Henry VIII's dynastic ambitions. Some see Anglicanism today as self-destructing, torn apart by internal pressures.

Paul Avis expounds an Anglicanism that is both catholic and reformed and open to fresh insight. On this interpretation, what is distinctive about Anglicanism is its understanding of the Church and of authority. These issues are addressed in relation to the origins of Anglican ecclesiology, the diversity and coherence of the worldwide Anglican Communion, its understanding of baptism and the Eucharist, the question of women priests and bishops, its ecumenical engagement and the internal conflicts of the early twenty-first century. This is an authoritative and passionate vindication of classical Anglicanism, evolving to respond to contemporary challenges.

The Logos edition of The Identity of Anglicanism connects it with the rest of the books in your library. Every word is indexed and catalogued, allowing you to get near-instant search results with a click. Get definitions for difficult theological terms with the dictionary lookup tool. Scripture references link to your preferred translation.

Resource Experts
  • Clear explanation of Anglican practices and beliefs
  • Index of names
  • Glossary
  • Keeping Faith with Anglicanism
  • What is Anglicanism?
  • The Distinctiveness of Anglicanism
  • The Identity of the Anglican Communion
  • Anglicanism and Eucharistic Ecclesiology
  • Anglicanism and Baptismal Ecclesiology
  • Reforming the Ministry - Ordaining Women
  • Anglican Orders - From Apostolicae Curae to Women Bishops
  • Anglican Ecclesiology in the Twenty-first Century
  • Jesus Christ and Anglicanism
  • Anglicanism in Memory and Hope

Top Highlights

“‘The vocation of Anglicanism is, ultimately, to disappear. That is its vocation precisely because Anglicanism does not believe in itself but it believes only in the catholic Church of Christ; therefore it is for ever restless until it finds a place in that body.” (Page 2)

“It distinguishes three levels of identity and conversion. First, there is our basic Christian identity, the orientation of personal faith to Jesus Christ. Clearly this demands continual conversion to God. Second, there is ecclesial identity, our fundamental belonging to the Christian Church. This calls for continual conversion to conform to the nature of the Church of Jesus Christ. Finally, there is confessional identity, the historically constructed self-understanding that each church has evolved over against other churches. Conversion in this dimension requires that all churches recognize that they are confessional bodies, so relativizing themselves vis-à-vis the one Church of Christ. For ‘no confessional Church can be identified as it stands with the Church of Jesus Christ’.” (Page 7)

“Between the English Reformation and the Oxford Movement there was a definite consensus as to the identity of Anglicanism as a reformed church, confessing with all the Reformers the supreme authority of Scripture, justification by faith, the legitimate role of the laity (embodied in the sovereign and parliament) in the government of the Church, and a particular national and regional identity.” (Page 24)

“I have been suggesting that the faith and order of Anglicanism is marked by a combination and balance of affirmation and restraint. In their exercise of restraint, the seminal Anglican formularies, such as the Book of Common Prayer, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion and the classical Ordinal, together with the doctrinal parts of canon law, conspicuously avoid giving hostages to fanaticism, fundamentalism or dogmatism. The spirit of restraint inhibits these affirmations from becoming instruments of ideological oppression or of exclusivism. But in their character as affirmation they are equally inhospitable to relativism, indifferentism and mere pragmatism.” (Page 16)

Dr. Avis is well-qualified to produce such a study, for he is widely read in Anglican history and in classical anglican divinity . . . this work deserves to be read trough from start to finish . . . Each chapter can also stand on its own and it is available to the reader for future reference. This is, in fact, an excellent resource book, in which may be found the principal texts that, in various ways, inform and govern the Anglican churches.

—Alec Graham, Sometime Bishop of Newcastle

"One comes away from this closely argued and very knowledgeable book with a sense that Anglicanism may hold a position that does take much of what is best from both the Reformed and the Roman Catholic camps...Dr. Avis does a splendid job of giving his description of the identity of Anglicanism.

—Glen Ebisch, Catholic Library World

He has done a fine job, producing a cogent book with invisible seams...written with Avis’ customary lucidity and sharpness.

—Wesley Carr, Theology

  • Title: The Identity of Anglicanism: Essentials of Anglican Ecclesiology
  • Author: Paul Avis
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 216

Paul Avis is an Anglican priest, theologian and ecumenist. He is General Secretary of the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity. At the University of Exeter he is honorary Professor of Theology and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Christian Church. Paul Avis is also a Chaplain to Her Majesty The Queen, Canon Theologian of Exeter Cathedral and Convening Editor of the journal Ecclesiology.


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Digital list price: $29.99
Save $8.00 (26%)