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Anglicanism Past and Future: Myths, Dreams, and Realities

John L. Kater

This article addresses the process of re-visioning within the Anglican tradition. Critics of recent changes charge unwarranted innovation in the Church’s traditional doctrine and discipline, while defenders often deny that any significant re-visioning has occurred. In fact, Anglicanism has been re-visioned many times in the course of its history, beginning with the Reformation and including a number of movements, most recently the emergence of a baptismal ecclesiology in the twentieth century. Those who critique the idea of recent innovation and advocate an “Anglican Covenant” are in fact proposing a different form of re-visioning. The article concludes by proposing a definition of Anglicanism developed by Ian Douglas which affirms the value and relevance of both tradition and context, and suggests emphasis on serving God’s mission as the best way to move beyond conflict centered on re-visioning.

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