An Anglican Synthesis: A Short Course on How we Became Anglican

Anglicanism, as an ecclesiastical identity, is to say the least, something of an enigma. To outside observers looking in we appear to be catholic while at the same time claiming to be protestant; from the inside looking out we perceive ourselves as embracing elements of both the Lutheran and the Calvinist reformations whilst still preserving a liturgical tradition which has its roots in European Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. This October I propose to offer a five-part lecture series on the history of how, over the space of five centuries of change, we became the church that we are today. We will begin with the “reformation within Catholicism” of Henry VIII, moving on to consider how contact with Lutheran and Calvinist theology shaped the church which emerged in the time of Elisabeth I. This will be followed by an examination of the shaping of our identity through the crucible of the Stuart monarchies, the English Civil War and Cromwell’s Protectorate, which in turn will lead us through the spiritual desert of the early 18th century into the Wesleyan Revival and the flourishing of the Oxford Movement in the middle of the 19th century.

Persons wishing to prepare for this set of lectures might read Diarmaid MacCulloch’s All Things Made New: The Reformation and its Legacy . The lectures will be offered on the five Tuesday evenings of October, at 7:30 PM in the church, culminating on October 31, the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to the door of the church at Wittenberg.

Pax Christi,


Fr. Kim, an ecclesiastical historian, is the author of From A Long Perspective , an introduction to the Foundational Documents, Ecumenical Covenants and other significant agreements of the Anglican Church of Canada. He was also chair of  the Jurisdiction Task Force of our national church and served as chair of the Anglican Identity section of our national Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee from 1998-2003.

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