Your post is mostly dead-on, but I thought I’d clarify that it’s not as heterodox as individual Anglicans doing a pick-and-choose on personal Eucharistic beliefs. Like the Protestant churches, Anglicans divided into different sub-groups ranging from the Anglican Catholic Church to the Episcopal Church USA. Each of these churches defines what the Eucharist is and means. Example: http://www.anglicancatholic.org/believe?class=greenlink I will grant that Episcopal Church USA isn’t nearly as dogmatic; you’ll find a lot of individual beliefs under one roof.
Off topic, but arising from your last post: Edwin Hatch is conventionally classified as Broad Church, according to the terminology in use at the time. Where he would fit in, in terms of the present-day C of E? Are there still Anglicans who describe themselves as Broad Church?
I would guess that applies to the Church of England, too.
I’m not sure the expression is used so much in the CofE these days, but my guess would be that most worshippers in CofE pews are Broad Church in sympathies. But I possess no research to support that view.
It now occurs to me that I have lived for a few years in rural England, where the CofE has a central place in village life and therefore may be prone to all-welcoming Broad-Churchiness. In the cities of course there is room for churches of more specialised churchmanship. It may well be that Anglo-Catholic churches do better in the cities; I think the Evangelicals certainly do. But still I think overall CofE members are generally accepting of varied churchmanship; just as they are, I think, more culturally liberal than Broad-Churchers were traditionally,.
Broad church was more identified as such years ago, when it was just one point of view. Now that it is the dominant point of view it isn’t noticed as such. It is taken for granted, the default position. Anything else is a “point of view”, a party.
Yes, I didn’t mean that Anglicanism has no place for philosophy. I have read quite a lot of works by Don Cupitt and seemingly most of what he writes is essentially about interpreting Christianity in light of continental philosophy. Richard Swinburne, who is perhaps the most famous philosopher of religion alive today, was an Anglican for most of his life (he is now Eastern Orthodox).
My point, which was perhaps not well expressed, was that Catholicism has tended to systematize its doctrine in very formal philosophical terms. It is often said, although I am not sure exactly how this is measured, that Aquinas cites Aristotle more frequently than he cites the Bible. Catholic priests typically have to study philosophy at least to undergraduate degree level as a prerequisite for their theological studies. So, of course, Anglicans can be philosophers, but Anglican theology is not typically expressed in the very formal vocabulary of philosophy that is almost ubiquitous in Catholic theological writing.
The Bible is of course the fundamental source for all branches of Christian theology. However, it would be fair to say that what distinguishes some branches of Protestantism is their almost exclusive dependence on the Bible. There is a certain kind of Protestant theologian who can illustrate any point with a Bible verse and only with a Bible verse. I remember once listening to a sermon on the Trinity by an evangelical Protestant minister of the fundamentalist variety, and he didn’t cite a single authority outside the Bible, not even the Church Fathers or the Ecumenical Councils.
Or whereas a Catholic and a Protestant will generally hold very similar views on homosexuality, a Catholic will argue both from Scripture and natural law (i.e. philosophy), whereas a Protestant will, generally speaking, substantiate the same claims on exclusively biblical grounds. Anglicans, who are greatly divided on this subject, of course, seem to be divided because different sides in the debate can interpret Scripture in radically divergent ways, but natural law does not often seem to be adduced, except perhaps by those conservative Anglo-papalists who are virtually indistinguishable from Roman Catholics.
Are the majority of the Anglican Continuum Anglo-Catholic? I understood the prime cause for the Anglican Continuum was the ordination of women. Therefore, I would have anticipated a significant number of Evangelicals in the Continuum also.
I live in England and whilst not a member of the C of E I have often read that in rural churches there is a tendency to be more open to the spectrum of churchmanship because if you live in a rural area you do not have parish churches of different churchmanship within easy reach on foot, by car or public transport. The latter of which I think is now only a memory in many rural areas.
The origin of the Continuum was following the 1977 Congress of St. Louis, of conservative Episcopalians, which issued the Declaration of St. Louis, from which the term Continuing Anglicans was derived. It was primarily a reaction to a number of trends or changes in orthodox Anglicanism, including the Prayer Book revision, some theological issues, and the looming specter of female ordination, as some folks thought of it. The result was the formation of the first Anglican Church of North America (not the same as the current Anglican Church in North America, which is not technically a Continuum church; pure coincidence). Which rapidly became involved in the standard orthodox Anglican intramural sport of dividing and expanding into a multitude of smaller jurisdictions.
Overall, the Continuum was on the Anglo-Catholic side (ACC, ACA, APCK, Diocese of the Holy Cross) or slightly less so (APA and other jurisdictions I forget). That has mellowed out a lot, as the Continuum has absorbed a certain number disaffected Episcopalians driven into exile by further oddities in TEC, over the years, and the Anglo-Catholic tone in the Continuum is a little diluted. That certainly happened in my own parish. Which remains firmly Anglo-Catholic, ne’er the less.
So, while not as markedly so as once, the Continuum remains discernibly Anglo-Catholic. Probably. And it’s constituent elements are laboriously striving to achieve a total unity not seen since the (old) ACNA.
Bess/ DIVIDED WE STAND is a dated history of the circus.
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