Confession and Society

Confession and Society : Anglicanism

Church and State . . As King Henry VIII. was the driving force behind the separation of the Church of England from Rome, the church-state- relations have, for the first 150 years of her history, been dominated by the latter. This is not only evident in the frequent changes in church DOCTRINE, but also in the emergence of a number of community-centered denominations - Puritans (English Calvinists), Quakers, Baptists (English Anabaptists), Methodists, Nonconformists. The different attitude individual kings showed toward religion and toward protestantism resulted in the Anglican church lacking a straight line.

Clergy and Laymen . . The Anglican church emphasized the education of the clergy and provided laymen with limited opportunity to participate in the administration of the community. As the King was the head of the church, the Anglican clergy at some occasions was seen as lackeys of the king.

Anglicanism and Literacy . . All protestant denominations emphasized elementary education. The introduction of the first BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER in Cornwall caused a local rebellion, as the Cornish claimed not being capable to read it; their Cornish language since has become extinct - a consequence of centuries of elementary schooling in English language. The survival of the Welsh and Irish languages in large parts of Wales respectively Ireland through centuries of Anglican church organization (the Church of England was state church), proves how few roots the Anglican church was able to grow in these countries.

Women in Lutheran Society . . Women were expected to be mothers and housewives. Institutions of higher learning would bar access to women for some time to come. It should be noted that Anglicans, as well as Catholics, believed in the existence of WITCHCRAFT; The Anglican church tried and executed presumed witches, in most cases single women who did not fit into the standard role perception of women.
In the later 20th century, the Anglican church has ordained women as priests. This matter is one of the onstacles in ongoing negotiations between London and Rome with the object of reuniting the Anglican and Catholic churches.

Timeline of 'Witch' Persecutions and Trials, from, many entries on England
REFERENCE John Davies, A History of Wales, London : Penguins 1994

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 20th 2003, last revised on November 15th 2004

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