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.
Restoring Order in the Church: The Royal Commission on Ecclesiastical Discipline (1904–1906)
GARY W. GRABER
In the late 1800s, ritual conflict cut to the heart of Englishness and Anglicanism. By mid-century, Catholic-minded ministers introduced high ceremonial practices in England’s parishes. From small beginnings, ritualism threatened the Protestant status quo1, even though bishops discouraged innovation. It gained sufficient notoriety to reach the attention of parliament, and a series of bills in the 1860s were introduced. Despite these, and a Royal Commission on Ritual called in 1867, no easy and equitable way to establish and enforce boundaries for the divine service emerged. The Public Worship Regulation Act (1874), framed to ‘put down ritualism’, proved unworkable in practice. Ceremonial innovation continued, and with it, increased party strife.2 The new century saw a renewed call to address ceremonial matters.3 Parliament, bypassing the episcopate, introduced nine anti-ritualist bills into the legislature (1891–1903).4 Though none passed, nearly 200 MPs in the new Commons pledged during the 1903 campaign to support anti-ritualist legislation. After Prime Minister Balfour cautioned Archbishop Randall Davidson against resisting action much longer, Davidson suggested a royal commission as an alternative to parliamentary involvement, which option Balfour accepted.5
Membership of the Royal Commission on Ecclesiastical Discipline
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