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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



one of the Protestant religions whose worship and organizational principles are nearer to the Catholic Church than those of other Protestant churches.

The Church of England is the state church in England. It originated during the Reformation of the 16th century (the break between the English king, Henry VIII, and the papacy, the secularization of monasteries, and other changes) as a national state church headed by the king (the Act of Supremacy, 1534). Its doctrines and the organizational forms on which it was based remained Catholic. During the reign of Edward VI, T. Cranmer compiled the Book of Common Prayer (1549), which combined Protestant and Catholic elements in its doctrines and practices. During the reign of Elizabeth Tudor, in the Thirty-nine Articles (1571) the dogma was drawn somewhat closer to Calvinism. The Church of England, which had become an important support of absolutism, was established by the English Bourgeois Revolution of the 17th century; after the restoration of the Stuarts (1660), it was reestablished.

The head of the Church of England is the king, who actually appoints the bishops. In the hierarchy of the Church of England its primate is the archbishop of Canterbury, followed by the archbishop of York. A considerable number of bishops are members of the House of Lords. All the fundamental church statutes are subject to Parliament’s approval. The state bears most of the cost of maintaining churches. The upper hierarchy of the Church of England is closely connected with the financial oligarchy and the landed aristocracy of England.

There are three trends in the Church of England: the High Church, the nearest to Catholicism; the Low Church, nearest to Puritanism and Pietism; and the Broad Church, which tries to unite all Christian tendencies (the leading Anglican trend).

In addition to the Church of England in England, there are independent Anglican churches in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, and several other countries. Anglicans number approximately 30 million people. Nominally, separate Anglican Churches are not interdependent. Since 1867, however, Anglican bishops have met for a conference in London once every ten years (the so-called Lambeth Conferences, named for Lambeth Palace, the residence of the archbishop of Canterbury), forming the Anglican Union of Churches. Anglicans take part in the ecumenical movement.


Robertson, A. “Religiia i ateizm v sovremennoi Anglii.” In Ezhegodnik Muzeia istorii religii i ateizma, vol. 4. Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.
Stephens, W. R. W., and W. Hunt, eds. A History of the English Church, vols. 1–9. London, 1899–1910.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to Louie Crew, an English professor at New Jersey's Rutgers University and the founder of the gay Episcopal group Integrity, African dioceses are traditionally more conservative because of their historical ties to the evangelical churches that introduced the continent to Anglicanism in the 19th century.
While acknowledging the validity of Anglicanism's traditional valuing of "dispersed authority" in order to avoid the pitfalls of centralism and the development of an "alternative papacy," he warned against an authority that is "dispersed to the point of dissolution and ineffectiveness."
harshly deconstructs the very name "Anglican": "Anglicanism is commonly seen as incorrigibly English, a hangover of the British Empire, an anachronism" (2).
But Professor Nigel Yates, Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Wales, Lampeter, argued the new group has not understood the nature of Anglicanism.
He has also striven to give added weight to the story of Anglicanism outside of Europe and North America, and there emphasizes the role of local appropriation in shaping ecclesiastical traditions rather than simply missionary agenda.
This step, along with the blessing rites for gay unions in the diocese of New Westminster, Canada, of 2002, has proved unacceptable to wider Anglicanism. The recent Windsor Report called on ECUSA to "express regret" and observe a moratorium on such actions.
The thirteen essays in this book will give the general reader both a concise history of Anglicanism in Australia and an estimate of the Church's influence in a number of fields.
Essentially, he suggests that during a period beginning with the Puritan attack on the Laudian church in the 1640s and ending with the 1689 Toleration Act, which put an end to the Church's pretensions to be a national church, Restoration Anglicanism developed as a distinct form of the Reformed Protestant religion, distinguishable both from the various forms Anglicanism took before and after Spurr's chosen 43-year period and also from contemporary Catholicism and Dissent, its two great enemies.
At the same time, 230 African and Asian Anglican bishops who had absented themselves from the 650 bishops at Lambeth, met by themselves in Jerusalem where they rejected the Archbishop of Canterbury as the leading moral authority in Anglicanism. The issue was homosexuality.
Never has the Holy See suggested Anglicanism repudiate women's ordination or disavow it in order to facilitate intercommunion between the two churches.
Nockles, rejecting a long established Anglo-Catholic historiography in which the Tractarian movement was the only viable form of High-Church Anglicanism in the Victorian period, found instead a vigorous diversity of High-Church alternatives.
Sir - Should readers renounce Anglicanism because of its deviation from your correspondent's religious norms?