The Rise and Fall of the English Christendom: Theocracy, Christology, Order and Power, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Rise and Fall of the English Christendom

Theocracy, Christology, Order and Power, 1st Edition

By Bruce Kaye


324 pages

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Hardback: 9781138305786
pub: 2017-11-09
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315141596
pub: 2017-11-06
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English Christendom has never been a static entity. Evangelism, politics, conflict and cultural changes have constantly and consistently developed it into myriad forms across the world. However, in recent times that development has seemingly become a general decline. This book utilises the motif of Christendom to illuminate the pedigree of Anglican Christianity, allowing a vital and persistent dynamic in Christianity, namely the relationship between the sacred and the mundane, to be more fundamentally explored.

Each chapter seeks to unpack a particular historical moment in which the relations of sacred and mundane are on display. Beginning with the work of Bede, before focusing on the Anglo Norman settlement of England, the Tudor period, and the establishment of the church in the American and Australian colonies, Anglicanism is shown to consistently be a religio-political tradition. This approach opens up a different set of categories for the study of contemporary Anglicanism and its debates about the notion of the church. It also opens up fresh ways of looking at religious conflict in the modern world and within Christianity.

This is a fresh exploration of a major facet of Western religious culture. As such, it will be of significant interest to scholars working in Religious History and Anglican Studies, as well as theologians with an interest in Western Ecclesiology.


"The great value of Kaye’s book is a detailed account of English Christendom, with acute theological reflection on the case studies. It is wonderful to have such a thoughtful account, especially when extended to Australia and the United States […] This is an outstanding survey from one of the leading theologians in the Anglican Communion."

- Peter Sedgwick, Cardiff University, Ecclesiastical Law Journal

Table of Contents



Part I: Beginnings

1 Theocracy and Christendom

2 Bede and the Beginnings of the English Christendom


Part II: The Anglo Norman Christendom

3 William I and Lanfranc

4 Anselm: Obedience and Distinction

5 Establishing Royal Governance and the Becket Challenge

6 Papal Triumph and Lay power


Part III: The Tudor Royal Supremacy

7 Gardiner and the Hooker Turning Point


Part IV: The Dying of the English Christendom

8 Sudden Death: America and William White

9 Demise by Attrition: Australia and William Grant Broughton


Part V: Responding to the End of Christendom

10 Theocracy, Christology, Order and Power

About the Author

Bruce Kaye is an Adjunct Research Professor in the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University, Australia, and was the General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Australia from 1994 to 2004. He is the author of eight books, editor of ten further volumes and has written some sixty journal articles as well as contributing to newspapers, radio and TV. He has taught at various institutions around the world, including Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Cambridge and Seattle, is also the foundation editor of the Journal of Anglican Studies.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Ecclesiology

The field of ecclesiology has grown remarkably in the last decade, and most especially in relation to the study of the contemporary church. Recently, theological attention has turned once more to the nature of the church, its practices and proclivities, and to interpretative readings and understandings of its role, function and ethos in contemporary society.

This series draws from a range of disciplines and established scholars to further the study of contemporary ecclesiology and publish an important cluster of landmark titles in this field. The series editors represent a range of Christian traditions and disciplines, and this reflects the breadth and depth of books developing in the Series. This series presents a clear focus on the contemporary situation of churches worldwide, offering an invaluable resource for students, researchers, ministers and other interested readers around the world working or interested in the diverse areas of contemporary ecclesiology and the important changing shape of the church worldwide.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Social History
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Christianity / Anglican
RELIGION / Christianity / History
RELIGION / Christian Theology / General
RELIGION / Christian Theology / Ecclesiology
RELIGION / Christian Theology / History
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State
RELIGION / Christian Church / General
RELIGION / Christian Church / History
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology of Religion