Anglican Identity

Field: Church History
Unit Code(s): CH3100T
Unit value: 18 points
Level: Undergraduate (3)
Delivery mode:


INTENSIVE: 15-19 July 2019 (5 days)

Prerequisites: One unit of Church History & one unit in Field D
Content: This unit explores historical and contemporary attempts to define Anglican identity. The first part of the unit examines foundational Anglican texts (the Book of Common Prayer, the Ordinal and the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion), their origins in the Reformation, and their use and interpretation in subsequent centuries. The second part of the unit investigates the creation and ongoing evolution of local, national and global structures of Anglicanism, with particular attention to synodical governance and the role of bishops, clergy and laity in decision-making processes. Students will investigate how changes in areas such as liturgy, authority and theology can be initiated, realised or resisted within Anglican polity.
Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • outline a basic understanding of structures of authority within the Anglican Communion and within its constituent churches
  • explain the contested nature of Anglican identity with reference to the Book of Common Prayer, the Ordinal or the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion
  • demonstrate how history, law and theology have shaped Anglicanism
  • critically evaluate processes and mechanisms by which change occurs or is prevented from occurring within Anglican theology, governance and culture. 
  • 1,000-word document exercise (20%)
  • 2,500-word research essay (50%)
  • 1,500-word take-home exam (30%)
Recommended Reading:

* recommended for purchase

Avis, P. The Identity of Anglicanism: Essentials of Anglican Ecclesiology (London: T & T Clark, 2008)

Avis, P. The Anglican Understanding of the Church. An Introduction, 2nd ed. (London: SPCK, 2013

* Chapman, M. A Very Short Introduction to Anglicanism (Oxford: OUP, 2006)

Chapman, M. Anglican Theology (London: T&T Clark, 2012)

Fletcher, B. The Place of Anglicanism in Australia: Church, Society and Nation (Mulgrave: Broughton Publishing, 2008)

Hefling, C. and C. Shattuck, eds, The Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer: A Worldwide Survey (Oxford: OUP, 2006)

Kaye, B. ed., Anglicanism in Australia: A History (Melbourne: MUP, 2002)

Kaye, B. An Introduction to World Anglicanism (Cambridge: CUP, 2008)

Percy, M. Anglicanism. Confidence, Commitment and Communion (Farnham: Ashgate, 2013)

Percy, M. Thirty-Nine New Articles. An Anglican Landscape of Faith (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2013)

Sykes, S. John Booty and Jonathan Knight, eds, The Study of Anglicanism (London: SPCK, 1988)

Williams, R. Anglican Identities (Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications, 2003)