This book is the first systematic attempt to describe a coherent and comprehensive Anglican understanding of Church. Rather than focusing on one school of thought, Dr Locke unites under one ecclesiological umbrella the seemingly disparate views that have shaped Anglican reflections on Church. He does so by exploring three central historical developments: (1) the influence of Protestantism; (2) the Anglican defence of episcopacy; and (3) the development of the Anglican practice of authority. Dr Locke demonstrates how the interaction of these three historical influences laid the foundations of an Anglican understanding of Church that continues to guide and shape Anglican identity. He shows how this understanding of Church has shaped recent Anglican ecumenical dialogues with Reformed, Lutheran, Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. Drawing on the principle that dialogue with those who are different can lead to greater self-understanding and self-realization, Dr Locke demonstrates that Anglican self-identity rests on firmer ecclesiological foundations than is sometimes supposed.
’Locke is at his best when he discusses episcopacy, authority, and worship, the role these have played in history, and their place in current Anglican ecclesiology… Recommended.’ Choice ’… Locke's book shows that Anglicanism probably has what it takes to weather the storms ahead. It is a temperate and wise call to the kind of mature polity that Anglicans already possess, and yet often find elusive.’ Church Times ’[Locke's] book is to be highly commended as expounding the essential features of Anglicanism and deserves to be widely read.’ Search ’Given the many complexities faced by the Anglican Communion one might be forgiven for thinking that the suggestion that Anglicanism has a coherent theology is a contradiction in terms. Locke disputes this strongly and sets out to prove that Anglicanism possesses ’a strong and vibrant ecclesiological heritage’ which can be demonstrated in both its own self-understanding and in ecumenical relations.’ Journal of Theological Studies ’… useful for those who are delving into the complexities of Anglican theology for the first time…’ Modern Believing 'This is a very thorough diagnosis of Anglicanism’s vision of authority…' Ecclesiology '[Locke's] work will be of primary interest to Anglicans, but might profitably also be consulted for those seeking a plausible account of the debate over the nature of the church that has characterized Christianity since the days of Luther and Calvin.' Church History
Contents: Introduction; The Reformation and Anglicanism; The continuation of Protestant ecclesiology; Anglican evangelicalism from the 18th century to the present; Ecclesiological ambiguities in Anglican support for episcopacy: Richard Hooker and the Caroline divines; Further ambiguities in Anglican support for episcopacy: the 18th to the 20th century; The Anglican approach to ecclesial authority; Anglicanism from an ecumenical perspective: dialogues with the Reformed and Lutheran churches; Ecumenical dialogues with Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches;Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.