Quick take on polity


How effective can a church based on a Constantian understanding of the relationship between faith and State be in a nation founded by people who were forced to leave their homes because they rejected that understanding?

Seems to me that something has had to change. Does that change effect the way that the Episcopal Church is viewed by other parts of the Anglican Communion?

And maybe this is why there has been such a deep affinity between the Russian Orthodox and the Anglican Church. We are both formed out of a Constatinian world view.

Just off the top of my head I can’t see how it can’t. But I need to think a bit more about this.


  1. Paul Martin says

    Is this what you are talking about? It seems like this would describe the C of E, but I don’t know how much of the Anglican Communion it would apply to.

  2. It is Paul – I guess I mean that our denomination has historical roots that include deep ties into the ruling structures. That’s different than denominations like the Methodists, the Mennonites or the Baptists who were always kept outside of the power structures.

    That difference seems to drive the way that other denominations here in America deal with our government. And we Episcopalians have learned from them. Which means we’re different than parts of the communion where the Church of England experience is still pretty close to reality – like in the Commonwealth nations of Canada or Nigeria for instance.

  3. It is not just the anti-Establishment view of some of the colonists (and it was only some of the colonists), but the rise of lay leadership in Anglican colonies brought about by the clergy shortage and the values of the revolutionaries. Our polity is essentially conciliar rather than Episcopal and other parts of the communion (and many o our bishops) don’t seem to understand.

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