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Inquiring Minds Want to Know: A Lay Person's Perspective on the Proposed Anglican Covenant

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 February 2012

Abstract

Baptism is the sacrament that incorporates Christians into the Body of Christ; 99 percent of the church are laity. The proposed Anglican Covenant's emphasis on formal authority exercised by bishops and primates changes the relationships among all Anglicans, not just bishops. This change may run against a fundamental Anglican tradition of ongoing communal reflection that acknowledges that elements of church life change because they are no longer convenient or useful in particular locales. In adopting the Anglican Covenant, are we stating that traditional Anglican polity is no longer convenient or useful for the Provinces of the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church?

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Journal of Anglican Studies Trust 2012

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Footnotes

1.

Dr Fredrica Harris Thompsett is Mary Wolfe Professor of Historical Theology and faculty emerita at the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA.

References

2. Thompsett, Fredrica Harris, ‘The Primacy of Baptism: A Reaffirmation of Authority’, in Ian T. Douglas and Kwok Pui-lan (eds.), Beyond Colonial Anglicanism: The Anglican Communion in the Twenty-first Century (New York: Church Publishing, 2001), pp. 247269.Google Scholar

3. Virginia Report (1997), 3.21-23. www.lambethconference.org/1998/documents/report-1.pdf (accessed 10 April 2010).Google Scholar

4. Jones, Norman, The English Reformation: Religious and Cultural Adaptation (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002), pp. 199 and 202.Google Scholar

5. Quoted in Neill, Stephen, Anglicanism (New York: Oxford University Press, 4th edn, 1978), p. 285.Google Scholar

6. ‘Report of the D020 Task Force’, 23 August 2011; available at http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79425_130304_ENG_HTM.htm (accessed 26 December 2011).Google Scholar

7. See the Introduction and Appendix I in the Virginia Report.Google Scholar

8. Resolutions of the Lambeth Conference, 1988, No. 18. http://www.lambethconference.org/resolutions/1988/1988-18.cfm (accessed 26 December 2011).Google Scholar

9. Lambeth Conference 1998, The Official Report, Resolution III.8.h, 399. http://www.lambethconference.org/resolutions/1998/1998-3-8.cfm (accessed 26 December 2011).Google Scholar

10. See Bishop Christopter Epting's reflections on the proposed covenant in Episcopal Café, available at: http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/anglican_communion/an_ecumenist_off_two_minds_on.html#more (accessed 5 October 2010).Google Scholar

11. Dozier, Verna, The Calling of the Laity, Verna Dozier's Anthology (Washington, DC: Alban Institute, 1988), pp. 115116.Google Scholar

12. Sykes, Stephen W., The Integrity of Anglicanism (London: Mowbray, 1978), pp. 87100.Google Scholar

14. The ‘Five Marks of Mission’ were adopted by the meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC6-1984, and ACC8-1990), and at the last 2009 General Convention of TEC (D025). http://www.anglicancommunion.org/ministry/mission/commissions/iascome/covenant/covenant_english.cfm (accessed 12 September 2010).Google Scholar

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