1. The Making of a Controversy 13
CHAPTER 1 The Making of a Controversy “There is a mighty cry and desire, almost in all places where we have traveled, to have ministers of the Church of England sent to them in these northern parts of America.” George Keith, SPG Missionary1 Although the Church of England’s leaders viewed episcopacy as an essential part of the Church’s polity, conflicts in England, the slow growth of the Church in the American colonies, and the haphazard way in which colonial institutions developed thwarted plans during the seventeenth century to appoint a resident bishop. The office of bishop was vital to the Church of England both theologically and practically. The High Church view held that the King was the head of the Church, in essence a religious primate, with his power flowing downward to the people through the bishops. The Tory party favored this view, which supported the doctrine of the divine right of kings. The institutional structure, from a practical perspective, required a bishop for the ordination of ministers and the confirmation of church members. An Anglican community without a bishop found itself unable to manage its affairs, expand its territory, and compete with other religious sects. This was the case of the Anglican Church in the American colonies. Eighteenth century Anglican theology followed a distinct pastoral model where the ceremonial and sacramental duties of parish priests’ interconnected with the community, and “concern for both the sacred and secular was a particularly Anglican trait.” 2 Incarnational and sacramental theology “undergirded the...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.