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Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition which has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation.
Adherents of Anglicanism are called "Anglicans". The majority of Anglicans are members of national or regional ecclesiastical provinces of the international Anglican Communion, which forms the third-largest Christian communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. They are in full communion with the See of Canterbury, and thus the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom the communion refers to as its primus inter pares (Latin, "first among equals"). He calls the decennial Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of primates, and is the president of the Anglican Consultative Council. Some churches that are not part of the Anglican Communion or recognised by the Anglican Communion also call themselves Anglican, including those that are part of the Continuing Anglican movement and Anglican realignment.
Anglicans base their Christian faith on the Bible, traditions of the apostolic Church, apostolic succession ("historic episcopate"), and the writings of the Church Fathers. Anglicanism forms one of the branches of Western Christianity, having definitively declared its independence from the Holy See at the time of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. Many of the new Anglican formularies of the mid-16th century corresponded closely to those of contemporary Protestantism. These reforms in the Church of England were understood by one of those most responsible for them, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and others as navigating a middle way between two of the emerging Protestant traditions, namely Lutheranism and Calvinism.
In the first half of the 17th century, the Church of England and its associated Church of Ireland were presented by some Anglican divines as comprising a distinct Christian tradition, with theologies, structures, and forms of worship representing a different kind of middle way, or via media, between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism – a perspective that came to be highly influential in later theories of Anglican identity and expressed in the description of Anglicanism as "Catholic and Reformed". The degree of distinction between Protestant and Catholic tendencies within the Anglican tradition is routinely a matter of debate both within specific Anglican churches and throughout the Anglican Communion. Unique to Anglicanism is the Book of Common Prayer, the collection of services in one Book used for centuries. The Book is acknowledged as a principal tie that binds the Anglican Communion together as a liturgical rather than a confessional tradition or one possessing a magisterium as in the Roman Catholic Church.
After the American Revolution, Anglican congregations in the United States and British North America (which would later form the basis for the modern country of Canada) were each reconstituted into autonomous churches with their own bishops and self-governing structures; these were known as the American Episcopal Church and the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada. Through the expansion of the British Empire and the activity of Christian missions, this model was adopted as the model for many newly formed churches, especially in Africa, Australasia, and Asia-Pacific. In the 19th century, the term Anglicanism was coined to describe the common religious tradition of these churches; as also that of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which, though originating earlier within the Church of Scotland, had come to be recognised as sharing this common identity.
The Priestley Riots
took place from 14
to 17 July 1791
; their main targets were religious Dissenters
, most notably the religious and political controversialist, Joseph Priestley
. Driven by anger over the Dissenters' attempts to gain full civil rights and their support of the French revolution
, the rioters attacked or burned four Dissenting chapels, twenty-seven houses and several businesses. While the riots were not initiated by William Pitt's
administration, the national government was slow to respond to the Dissenters' pleas for help and overjoyed at their plight. Local Birmingham officials seem to have been involved in the planning of the riots and were reluctant to prosecute any ringleaders after they ended.
The riots revealed that the Anglican gentlemen of the town were not averse to using violence against Dissenters who they viewed as potential revolutionaries. They had no qualms, either, about raising a potentially uncontrollable mob. Many of those attacked left Birmingham; as a result, the town became noticeably more conservative after the riots. The remaining supporters of the French revolution decided not to hold a dinner celebrating Bastille Day the following year.
The Arms of the See of Canterbury.
Richard Hooker (1554–1600), one of the most influential figures in shaping Anglican theology and self-identity.
Saint Alban is venerated as the first-recorded British Christian martyr.
A world map showing the Provinces of the Anglican Communion (Blue). Shown are the Churches in full communion with the Anglican Church: The Nordic Lutheran churches of the Porvoo Communion (Green), and the Old Catholic Churches in the Utrecht Union (Red).
Queen Elizabeth I revived the Church of England in 1559, and established a uniform faith and practice. She took the title "Supreme Governor".
Jesus Christ supporting an English flag and staff in the crook of his right arm depicted in a stained glass window in Rochester Cathedral, Kent
1854 image of the ruins of Jamestown Church, the first Anglican church in North America
The vestments of a deacon, including a stole over the left shoulder.
Did you know...
(12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) became King of England
, King of France
(in practice only the town and surrounding district of Calais
) and Edward I
on 28 January 1547, and crowned on 20 February, at just nine years of age. Edward, the son of Henry VIII
and Jane Seymour
, was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty
and England's first ruler who was not Roman Catholic
at the time of his ascension to the throne. Edward's entire rule was mediated through a council of regency
as he never reached maturity. The council was first led by his uncle, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset
(1547–1549), and then by John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland
(1549–1553). Although Henry VIII had severed the link between the English church and Rome, it was during Edward's reign that further reforms were established. It was during Edward's reign that Thomas Cranmer
, the Archbishop of Canterbury
, implemented the Book of Common Prayer
. Edward's reign was marked by increasingly harsh religious reforms. Following Edward's death at the age of fifteen, a disputed succession reopened the religious conflicts. Lady Jane Grey
was Queen for only nine days, and during that time reigning in name only, before she was replaced by Mary.
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