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‘Anglicanism’ and the Origins of the Church of England

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 August 2014

Peter McCullough*
Professor of English, Lincoln College, Oxford


This article aims to provide an introductory historical sketch of the origins of the Church of England as a background for canon law in the present-day Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church. Written by a specialist for non-specialists, it summarises the widely held view among ecclesiastical historians that if the Church of England could ever be said to have had a ‘normative’ period, it is not to be found in its formative years in the middle decades of the sixteenth century, and that, in particular, the origins of the Church of England and of what we now call ‘Anglicanism’ are not the same thing.

Copyright © Ecclesiastical Law Society 2014 

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8 McCullough, P (ed), Lancelot Andrewes: Selected Sermons and Lectures (Oxford, 2005), pp 108121Google Scholar, 353–365.

9 Ibid, pp 82–99, 331–334.