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Anglicans in Canada

Anglicans in Canada: Controversies and Identity in Historical Perspective

Alan L. Hayes
Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 344
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  • Book Info
    Anglicans in Canada
    Book Description:

    From the first worship services onboard English ships during the sixteenth century to the contentious toughmindedness of early clergymen to current debates about sexuality, Alan L. Hayes provides a comprehensive survey of the history of the Canadian Anglican Church. Unprecedented in the annals of Canadian religious history, it examines whether something like an Anglican identity emerged from within the changing forms of doctrine, worship, ministry, and institutions. _x000B__x000B_With writing that conveys a strong sense of place and people, Hayes ultimately finds such an identity not in the relatively few agreements within Anglicanism but within the disagreements themselves. Including hard-to-find historical documents, Anglicans in Canada is ideal for research, classroom use, and as a resource for church groups.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09148-3
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    “Church membership means more to Canadians than nationality,” a University of Toronto historian said in 1976.¹ While his statement would be harder to defend today than it was then, it does seem true that, historically, building Canadian churches was an important preliminary to building a Canadian nationality. For one thing, churches and churchgoers showed governments how to cooperate across provincial boundaries. For another thing, competing churches in what is now Canada sought to interpret the character of their surrounding culture, sometimes in order to challenge it, sometimes in order to shape it, and most often in order to adapt to...

  5. CHAPTER 1 Questions about Missionary Work
    (pp. 11-49)

    From the first time a Book of Common Prayer was opened in what is now Canada, Anglicans identified their Church as a missionary organization. By this they meant that it was directed by God to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to new fields and to supply Christian ministry in situations where people lacked the means to finance it themselves. Christian mission thus had two dimensions in principle that overlapped in practice: giving Christian service and witness to non-Christians and helping new congregations as they became financially self-supporting.

    At first, British North America (BNA) was a mission field of the...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Questions about the Church’s Role in Society
    (pp. 50-81)

    Anglicans in British North America (BNA) and later Canada prayed for their government and their community and saw their Church as a vital instrument of God’s purposes for the world. But they had diverse and sometimes conflicting views about the social good, and they disagreed about the proper role of the Anglican Church in Canadian society.

    The Anglican Church in BNA contributed to society in very substantial ways. It gave Christian teaching and moral direction, ran schools and hospitals, administered social services and homes for the marginalized, integrated diverse populations, formed people for responsible citizenship, and advised governments and corporations...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Questions about Church Governance
    (pp. 82-113)

    Governance in the Anglican Church in Canada has always been diffuse and untidy. By “governance” is meant the constituted ways by which the Church makes institutional decisions and assigns authority. It includes structures of decision making, lines of accountability, job descriptions, and spheres of jurisdiction. Anglicans have questioned precisely what were, or should be, the jurisdiction and authority of primates, metropolitans, bishops, colonial secretaries, the law officers of the Crown, governors, colonial councils of various descriptions, various Canadian courts of law, the Privy Council in England, secretaries of mission societies, vestries, parish clergy and staff, church wardens, General Synod, provincial...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Questions about Anglican Church Style
    (pp. 114-142)

    Until the 1960s, Canadian Anglicans reserved their most impassioned theological disputes for ecclesiology, that is, the theology of the Church and its relation to Anglican life, doctrine, discipline, and worship. Even those not given to impassioned disputes recognized the point of asking what it meant to be the Church and, more specifically, what constituted the acceptable understandings and styles of Anglican worship and discipline. Anglicans found themselves deeply divided about these things. But they also took a certain pride and pleasure in their theological contests and developed a sense of denominational identity from them.

    During the nineteenth century and for...

  9. CHAPTER 5 Questions about the Church in the Modern World
    (pp. 143-165)

    When the bishop of Natal in 1862 claimed that the Old Testament contained errors of historical fact, his metropolitan excommunicated him, prominent evangelicals such as Lord Shaftesbury joined with prominent tractarians such as Edward Pusey to denounce him, and the whole Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops condemned him heartily. Fifty years later, such views had moved from the realm of the heretical to the realm of the debatable. Fifty years after that, they had become a staple in the theological education of all Anglican clergy. Anglicans had adapted their theology to modern historical criticism.

    In the 1880s, and for many...

  10. CHAPTER 6 Questions about Gender in Anglican Life
    (pp. 166-202)

    Throughout most of its history the Anglican Church in Canada in its public character was an overwhelmingly male institution, a point demonstrated by the dominance of men in the first five chapters of this book. With rare exceptions, those who had the authority to speak for the Church and make institutional decisions for it were men: bishops, chancellors, clergy, lay leaders, delegates to synods, members of parish vestries, and, in colonial days, officials of the imperial and colonial governments.

    Public appearances can be deceiving, however. Congregations of worshipers certainly included women—in fact, probably more women than men. And women...

  11. Epilogue
    (pp. 203-206)

    In many Christian churches, controversies are settled by some combination of power, authority, and schism. In Canadian Anglicanism, controversies have seldom been settled at all. The Anglican Church has made few decisions that it could not revisit. The most notable irreversible decisions it has made voluntarily have been granting independence to its mission fields and ordaining women to the priesthood; other important irreversible decisions affecting its life, such as disestablishment and disendowment, were made or forced by others. In the end, therefore, the character of Canadian Anglicanism has been determined not by how it has resolved its questions but by...

  12. Documents
    (pp. 207-310)
  13. Bibliographic Essay
    (pp. 311-314)
  14. Index
    (pp. 315-324)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 325-328)