Antecedents and Legacies in the Anglican Tradition
Exploring a variety of themes, this collection examines the Reformation in relation to key aspects of church organization, belief, sacrament, conversion, relationships with other denominations, theological education, church and state, worship, and issues of resilience and decline. While these themes are pursued broadly, there is a particular focus on the context of the Anglican tradition in terms of Reformation preoccupations and concerns. This collection’s thematic content, chronological span, and geographical range will also challenge accepted views, deepen understanding, and highlight new areas of enquiry, bringing new research and insights to bear on established observations.
Academics will find this book of particular interest for courses on the Reformation, Early Modern Europe, and the history of Christianity.
Reform, Revival, or Renewal: The Reformation After 500 Years
No one doubts that the Reformation of the sixteenth century profoundly changed Western Christian life. But are we today actually identified by or with the Reformation and its forms? In Madagascar the Lutherans are eagerly studying the Augsburg Confession; the Anglican Diocese of Sydney in Australia steadfastly proclaims its adherence to the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, and encourages others in the Anglican Communion to do likewise; and younger Catholic priests in North America and France have embraced the Council of Trent with new enthusiasm. But this is all epiphenomenal. These post-Reformation echoes are but the flotsam left behind by a tide that has long since been sliding back out into the ocean of God’s providence.
The Reformation was a profoundly important historical phenomenon that has left its indelible imprint. Brad Gregory’s The Unintended Reformation, marks a common, but sophisticated argument tracing many very particular modern moral and religious ills to quite specific aspects of the Reformation—individual Bible-reading being at the centre. Alistair McGrath’s Christianity’s Dangerous Idea, building on the claims of people like Ernst Troeltsch, identifies some of these same ideas but presses them in a more optimistic direction.1 But, the question of influence aside, the question as to whether anybody today cares about it in a transformative fashion needs to be posed. For if increasingly no one cares, then the issue needs to be posed as to those ecclesial distinctions the Reformation has left us with; the many churches, and...
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