Anglican Way Institute Summer Conference May 31- June 2, 2023
Re-formed Catholic Anglicanism
Over the years I’ve been in many a conversation about Anglicanism. I’ve heard all kinds of definitions. Some good, some not so good. Ironically, the one definition most accurate is often the one that’s hardly ever mentioned; the phrase “Reformed Catholicism.”
For Anglicans the words reform and catholic go together. They’re not separated from each other like they are for most Protestants. For them, the Reformation is about getting away from what was catholic. For Anglicans it’s not. In this regard, the English Reformation was more about reforming, or better re-forming, the Medieval Western Church where she had drifted away from the Ancient Church. It was an effort to return or to restore what is catholic or truly universal to the Christian faith. The Vincentian Canon describes it as “what has been believed everywhere, at all times, by all.” It’s often called the Undivided Church.
Reformed Catholicism was not an attempt to create something new . . . not a new church . . . new faith . . . or new practice. An English Bishop named John Jewel (Salisbury) in his classic, Apology for the Church of England (1562), simply described English Christianity as based “in the Holy Gospel, the Ancient Bishops, and the Primitive Church.” It was not about completely throwing out what existed. Nor was it about creating new theology or new structures. It was about recovering or returning to the model of the Undivided Church.
Even the method was reformed catholic according to the motto of the day, “back to the sources” (ad fontes). The sources for Anglicans were the Holy Scriptures and the early church fathers. And by means of these sources, the reformed catholic model of Anglicanism was to re-form the Medieval Western Church by returning to the Catholic faith.
Therefore, this year’s Anglican Way Institute will focus on this important understanding of Anglicanism as “re-formed catholic.” Our conference will be about setting forth this model of Anglicanism.
To lay out this important Re-formed Catholic Anglican model, we’re going to have four plenary presenters: the Rev. Drs. Hans Boersma, Gerald McDermott, Greg Peters, and the Most Rev. Dr. Ray R. Sutton. These scholars will present a Re-formed Catholic Anglican approach on a number of foundational topics such as hermeneutics and the interpretation of Scripture, the theological model of incarnation as well as atonement, spirituality, worship and the prayer book, the doctrine of the church and the sacraments, and so much more.
For our workshops, we’ll concentrate on a variety of biographical and historical examples in terms of scholars and movements. These workshops will touch on such important figures as Medieval English mystics; Reformation Era Divines such as John Jewel, Richard Hooker, and Lancelot Andrews; Caroline Divines such as Jeremy Taylor, John Donne, George Herbert; the 17th century Non-Juror movement; and the 19th century Anglo-Catholics such as Edward Pusey, John Keble, and John Henry Newman, to name only a few. The workshops will also offer something on the way this Re-formed Catholic Anglican model translated into missions, music, science, the mystery genre of literature, and so much more.
Therefore, mark the dates of May 31st to June 2nd for this year’s Anglican Way Institute. We’re scheduling it a little earlier to make it easier for attendees to avoid conflicts with summer vacations and camps. Don’t miss this conference. It could be the best ever!
Yours in Christ,