Anglicanism worldwide faces huge problems. Its principal problem is the central character of its own identity as a form of Christian faith. It developed as a particular tradition of faith shaped by its English context. When it spread to other...
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Anglicanism worldwide faces huge problems. Its principal problem is the central character of its own identity as a form of Christian faith. It developed as a particular tradition of faith shaped by its English context. When it spread to other cultures, its instinct for cultural engagement created adjustment problems in each place. Those problems can be clearly seen in the Australian experience of Anglicanism. This process also created great diversity between different parts of the Anglican Communion. The nostalgic form of Anglicanism is simply not working. If Anglicanism is to deal with these differences and be true to the fundamental character of its own tradition, it needs to be quite fundamentally reinvented.
In Reinventing Anglicanism Bruce Kaye tracks the modern story of Australian Anglicanism and reconsiders key elements of the New Testament, the English Reformation and the ongoing theological tradition that relate to this story. He argues that key aspects of this tradition, which have been embedded in the formal constitutions of Anglican churches, hinder the emergence of the real dynamic of this form of Christianity. It is time to give up nostalgic attachment to the formal and presentational aspects of the English experience of this faith in order to get to the real heart of the tradition and thus enable a fundamental reinvention of it. Such a reinvention will need to involve the development of confidence in personal Christian vocation, interdependent diversity in ecclesial life, and being respectful visionaries in the wider community.
Bruce Kaye has been general secretary of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia since 1994. He is currently a trustee of the Anglican Communion Trust, a member of the Inter Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission and the founding editor of the Journal of Anglican Studies. His recent books are Church without Walls: Being Anglican in Australia(1994), Godly Citizens (1999) and Web of Meaning (2000), and he was general editor of the widely acclaimed Anglicanism in Australia: A History (2002). For his significant contribution to Australian Anglicianism Dr Kaye has had a set of essays published in his honour entitled Agendas For Australian Anglicanism.