Anglicanism: A Very Short Introduction, Paperback

Anglicanism: A Very Short Introduction Paperback

Part of the Very Short Introductions series

4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


What is Anglicanism? How is it different from other forms of Christianity, and how did it come to have so many different versions throughout the world?

Although originally united by location and a common belief, Anglicanism has gradually lost its pre-eminence as the English state church due to increasing pluralisation and secularisation.

While there are distinctive themes and emphases which emerge from its early history and theology, there is little sense of unity in Anglicanism today.

In Anglicanism: A Very Short Introduction, Mark Chapman highlights the diversity of contemporary Anglicanism by exploring its fascinating history, theology, and structures.

Putting the history and development of the religion into context, Chapman reveals what it is that holds Anglicanism together despite the recent crises that threaten to tear it apart. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area.

These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.




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A good book on the Church of England and Anglicanism. Although a bit opionated, it is well worth the read. Chapman does not mince words in his description of events and their causes, but he catches the sweep of history in a beguiling yet succinct way. In the first chapter he lays out his thesis that Anglicanism owes more to the divine right of kings, rather than the conversion of the heart more associated with Protestantism. And the development of global Anglicanism is significant although leaving us with a tension filled situation of the present.The second chapter on establishing the church starts off with the comment that the Cambridge Camden Society was "one of the most successful societies of all time." This group revelutionized the landscape of the church in England. Once this is covered, Chapman turns back to Henry VIII and that we have normalled read in a properly sequenced history. Then comes the competing visions of a monarchial national church (John Whitgift) versus the puritan model (Thomas Cartwright) which failed (or maybe got transported to New England, where we got Harvard University and he Hasty Pudding Club, which I had thought was the most successsful undergraduate society of all time).The 18th century was dominated by evangelicalism and the 19th by Anglo-Catholicism. The evangelicalism of people like Chalres Simeon led to the vast effort of the Church Missionary Society and carries through the more current charismatic revival. Anglo-Catholics brought in a high view of the ministry and brought back a romantic medieval look to churches, but seems to have lost its forward movement in recent decades.The Global communion tells of the ministry of Bishop Samuel Crowther, the first black African prelate in the Anlican Communion and follows the story with best description of the importance of the Colenso Affair that I have read, and its importance for establishing the local authority of each national version of Anglicanism.The book closes with recent happenings, Lambeth Councils, prayer book revisions, women clergy, and the divisions over homosexuality. Chapman ends with: "The desire to listen and to enter into conversation requires voluntary restraint and self-denial among the different factions. The problem is that in a world which seeks clear decisions and absolute certainties such Christian humility might not any longer be considered a virtue."