Anglo-Catholicism: A Study in Religious Ambiguity

Anglo-Catholicism: A Study in Religious Ambiguity

By: W. S. F. Pickering (author)Paperback

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A revised and enlarged edition of the most powerful and polemic critique of the Anglo-Catholicism movement. This penetrating and highly readable study has established itself over the years as the standard text on the subject. Rising in the wake of the Oxford Movement, Anglo-Catholicism can be seen as a deliberate attempt to catholicise the Church of England and to make its doctrines and services similar to those of the Roman Catholic Church. Early followers were persecuted, but they became famous for their work and for breaking down the social divisions associated with the Church. The Anglo-Catholic Movement indelibly changed the ethos of the Established Church with the foundation of religious orders, overseas missions, theological colleges and public schools, promoting new social doctrines often associated with socialist ideas. Anglo-Catholicism traces the movement from the origins to the heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. It is the first study which analyses it from the sociological point of view. The book concentrates in the interwar period and the decline of the movement to the present time, showing now the ambiguities and tensions originated and the way they have been dealt with over the years. This revised edition also contains a new chapter examining the impact of women's ordination to priesthood on the movement.

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About Author

Revd Dr William S. F. Pickering has been an Anglican priest since 1950. He was for twenty years a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He is currently the General Secretary of the British Centre for Durkheimian Studies, at Oxford University.


Preface to the 1989 edition. Preface to the 2008 edition. Acknowledgements. Errata. Introduction. PART I. THE PHENOMENON OF ANGLO-CATHOLICISM. 1. What is Anglo-Catholicism? Introduction. A confusion of terms. The task of Anlgo-Catholicism. Popular identity. Tension and dilemmas. 2. From strength to strength: the glorious congresses. The early days of Anglo-Catholicism. The effects of the 1914-18 war. The congresses: introduction. The congresses: a display of worship. The congresses: their popularity. The congresses: their unpopularity. The congresses: marks of identification. The congresses: further observations. Conclusion. 3. A missionary movement? An evangelical streak in Anglo-Catholicism. Tow models of mission work. Mobilization. Techniques. The proof of conversion: confession. Popular missions and Anglo-Catholicism, Success and decline. Missionary work overseas. 4. The extent of success. An impossible assessment? Some early estimates. Criteria of age and class. Geographical distribution. Success in the slums. 5. Further achievements Success. Doctrinal emphases. New ways of worshiping. A new spirituality. Religious orders and communities. Social and political theory. Schools and colleges. Simple and direct. PART II. AMBIGUITIES. 6. Some inherent ambiguities. Ambiguity in religion itself. Catholic or not Catholic? A bishop or not a bishop? To change or not to change? Ritual: important or not? Conclusion. 7. The ambiguity of Catholic sectarianism. A church or a sect? Language. 'Against the stream'. Clergy marginality. A one-sided affair: sectarian unreality over reunion. Conclusion. 8. Ambiguity over sexuality. Introduction. Vocation and ambiguity. The charge of homosexuality. Problems of definition and identification. Application to Anglo-Catholicism. Some recent evidence. Why the association?. PART III. RESPONDING TO AMBIGUITY. 9. A popular escape route. Escaping from ambiguity. The path described. A clerical path. The effect on the Church of England and on Anglo-Catholicism. The effect on Roman Catholicism. Searching for explanations. 'The Catholic Church is the True Church'. The eternal presence of the Roman Catholic Church. To criticize or not to criticize? Conclusion. 10. Remaining where they are. The problem. Alternative responses. Remaining for negative reasons. Remaining for positive reasons. Remaining for reasons of indifference, Methodological differences. 11. The effects of various options: the position today. A general view. The final congresses: the saga ends. Some other indicators. Ambiguities activated: Parish and People movement. To compromise or not to compromise over church reunification? To be Catholic and charismatic? Divisions over moral teaching and practice. Coping with Vatican II. A new threat: the ordination of women. Conclusion. Postscript to 2008 edition. Some consequences of the ordination of women. Further consequences: new factions. Sexuality. Ambiguity over authority.

Product Details

  • publication date: 29/05/2008
  • ISBN13: 9780227679883
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 300
  • ID: 9780227679883
  • weight: 410
  • ISBN10: 0227679881

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