Saturday, February 05, 2005

Part of the ambiguity

"Part of the ambiguity of an advanced Anglo-Catholic mentality is a tendency towards a schizophrenic style of life. There is, after all, something a little treasonable about it. It is a strand that has run through elements of the movement from the early days of nineteenth-century ritualism and has become a recognized canker. So strong is it that it has discouraged many from receiving reception into the [Roman] Catholic Church because they cannot face its moral demands. The tragedy of Brian's career and achievements is that all he accomplished in the Church of England and in the General Synod will be judged by his downfall, and dismissed. By implication, the Anglo-Catholic position is likely to be damaged, and evaluated in purely psychopathological terms. Brian had many predecessors who shared his [homosexual] nature, and doubtless there are successors, but the mainstream of the movement was good, wholesome and productive. The problem flourished on the edge."--Anthony Symondson, SJ in Loose Canon: A Portrait of Brian Brindley London: Continuum, 2004, page 120.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Heightened by darkening the age which went immediately before

"We are told that the eighteenth century was a time of 'general decay of religion,' of 'poisoning of the blood,' or 'a black spot on the shining history of England.' The least injurious reproaches are accusations of slovenliness, sloth, 'marasmus,' and on the part of the clergy of attention only to fees and preferment. Some of these attacks have been made by men belonging to the Church of England, made, most likely, in good faith, but of late to be traced to a mere following of the multitude and of the prejudices and fashion of the day. Perhaps there was a leaning on the part of the writers of the nineteenth century and of the Victorian epoch to plume themselves on the supposed excellency of their own age, as an age of 'progress,' 'enlightenment,' etc. The lustre of the age in which they wrote could be heightened by darkening the age which went immediately before."
J. Wickham Legg, English Life from the Restoration to the Tractarian Movement

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Addleshaw in 1941

"Worship has become divorced from the ordinary life of the world. There appears to be no relation between what is done at the altar and the grim realities of everyday working life. Again this is due to tendencies present both in Catholicism and Protestantism since the Reformation, which the secularist exclusion of dogma from the world of politics and economics has only accentuated."--GWO Addleshaw, The High Church Tradition, Introduction.

Addleshaw wrote this in 1941, the year before William Temple, pictured above, became Archbishop of Canterbury.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Samuel Wilberforce

Who was the last English High Church bishop? Samuel Wilberforce may count as one of the last best.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

More Nockles

"Church or Protestant Sect? The Church of Ireland, High Churchmanship, and the Oxford Movement, 1822–1869"
The Historical Journal (1998), 41:457-493

In this fine article, Nockles debunks the reputation imputed to the Church of Ireland as being resolutely Low Church. He finds a strong High Church element which nonetheless resisted extreme Tractarianism and which was in fact undermined by the post-Oxford Movement polarization of ecclesiastical positions. Quite a good read. Nockles locates the end of High Church vitality and viability in 1869, when an Evangelical rise to power coincided with disestablishment.

Perhaps Altitudinarian should give Nockles Awards to distinguished High Churchmen today.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004


A short list of indispensable (mostly) modern titles for an understanding of traditional High Church divinity:

G.W.O. Addleshaw, The High Church Tradition.

John William Burgon, The Lives of Twelve Good Men.

Robert D. Cornwall, Visible and Apostolic: The Constitution of the Church in High Church Anglican and Non-Juror Thought.

George Every, SSM, The High Church Party.

Kenneth Hylson-Smith, High Churchmanship in the Church of England: From the Sixteenth Century to the Late Twentieth Century.

F. C. Mather, High Church Prophet: Bishop Samuel Horsley.

R.D. Middleton, Magdalen Studies.

Robert Bruce Mullin, Episcopal Vision/American Reality: High Church Theology and Social Thought in Evangelical America.

Peter B. Nockles, The Oxford Movement in Context: Anglican High Churchmanship, 1760-1857.

E. A. Varley, The Last of the Prince Bishops: William Van Mildert and the High Church Movement of the Early Nineteenth Century.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Misuse of the term High Church

An example of the abuse of the term "High Church:" this website, which reputes to be a scholarly resource on all things Victorian, makes a simple equation of "High Church" and "Tractarian." (Its authors also refer erroneously in three cases to Edward Bouverie Pusey as Edmund Pusey).

Dean RW Church on the High Church School of Anglicanism

"There was nothing effeminate about it, as there was nothing fanatical; there was nothing extreme or foolish about it; it was a manly school, distrustful of high-wrought feelings and professions, cultivating self-command and shy of display, and setting up as its mark, in contrast to what seemed to it sentimental weakness, a reasonable and serious idea of duty. The divinity which it propounded, though it rested on learning, was rather that of strong common sense than of the schools of erudition. Its better members were highly cultivated, benevolent men, intolerant of irregularities both of doctrine and life, whose lives were governed by an unostentatious but solid and unfaltering piety, ready to burst forth on occasion into fervid devotion."--The Oxford Movement, chapter 1.