The Institute of Anglican Studies

The Institute of Anglican Studies

The establishment of the Institute of Anglican Studies in 2006 was a response to what many perceive to be a crisis of identity in the Anglican Church. There is a lack of clarity in what Anglicanism has to offer contemporary society. Fifty years ago, church-going Anglicans had some sense that the Anglican tradition was tried and tested. Anglicans believed it was a ‘via media’ between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. It kept a balance.

This confidence is being challenged as the world-wide communion faces controversial issues. The future is not so clear. We find ourselves asking, “What is it that we have to offer?”

We hope that you will be encouraged to join us on a journey as we rediscover Anglicanism as a living, vibrant expression of Christian faith.

“What is important for the Christian community at large is not that it gets its beliefs absolutely clear and definite; it cannot hope to do that if they are really beliefs about God. It is rather that people within the community go on working at the intellectual problems, questioning, testing, developing, and seeking the practical application of the traditions that we have inherited from the past.”

Maurice Wiles, Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford

The Institute’s scope of studies

Biblical studies and criticism—its historical roots, 19th century emergence, 20th century progress—and how this scholarship is changing our view of the scriptures, and is informing the current study of biblical theology.

Eucharistic theology. The origins of the eucharist, its mediaeval transformation, the reformed understanding, the emergence of an Anglican view. The future?

Priestly vocation and the creative tension between priestly and lay ministry. An historical study with implications for forms of future ministry.

Liturgy. Historical analysis that explains and informs present practice, together with a fresh look at theological principles that might change the current emphasis of liturgical practice.

Mission. The engagement of the Christian faith within contemporary thought and society.

Contemporary systematic theology—the interaction of philosophy of religion and dogmatics. A theology which does not develop from within itself but emerges as a result of interaction with contemporary issues of the world—what Tillich calls an ‘answering theology’.

Contemporary ethics. Not a discipline which starts from established principles and formulae, but one which emerges as a result of engagement with present problems. Ethical stances which emerge from an immersion in the actual issues of contemporary society.

Artistic creativity. Exploring the relationship between the arts and the emergence of faith—literature, music, art, drama and architecture.

Historical development of Anglicanism emerging from the late mediaeval period through the Reformation. Reformation studies.