The Church's one foundation: the Anglican origins and ecclesiological significance of the 1920 Lambeth "Appeal to all Christian people"

Vannerley, D. (2015) The Church's one foundation: the Anglican origins and ecclesiological significance of the 1920 Lambeth "Appeal to all Christian people". Ph.D. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.


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How can the Anglican Communion resolve its problems of internal ecumenism to overcome the threat of rupture that faces it at the beginning of the twenty-first century?

Anglican identity is not monolithic but pluriform within the particularity of its tradition. The Anglican way of being Christian is one that is discursive rather than definitive, aware of its roots but open to new expression of itself – and aware of the conditionality of any expression of Church in this passing world. However, from time to time, there are tensions within the tradition between those who hold differing views.

In 1867, facing the challenge of maintaining Anglican unity, Archbishop Longley summoned a meeting of Anglican bishops who sought collective understanding in a discursive, dialogic fashion and which evolved into a Lambeth Conference Tradition. The bishops sought the common mind of the Church on problematic questions, always aware of the mutability of their conclusions and often willing to change their view according to changed circumstances. In this way they sought to maintain Anglican unity and the principle of comprehension whereby the tradition sought to be inclusive of diversity.

The Sixth Conference in 1920 sought to address the wider question of Christian unity by employing the same methodology. The Appeal to All Christian People was intended to draw the churches into engagement with one another to overcome their differences and achieve a degree of ecclesial unity. Reconciliation of Christians with each other was set at the heart of ecumenical discourse and bore fruit in important ways.

This thesis proposes that the same methodology can and should be deployed to address the disputes that exist within the Anglican Communion at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The Lambeth Conference Tradition is an essential element in Anglican heritage that Anglicans may only ignore at their peril.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BX Christian Denominations > BX4800 Protestantism > BX5011 Church of England
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Hudson
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 13:23
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2016 12:25

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00