The Distinctive Heritage of Australian Anglicanism

Thomas Frame

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Anglicans world-wide are becoming more aware of the extent to which local economic, social, political and cultural influences have shaped the diverse national experiences of Anglicanism and the ways in which different provinces perceive their continuing relationship with the Church of England. Recent international turmoil over attitudes to same-sex relationships and conflicts over the exercise of the Archbishop of Canterbury's ecclesiastical authority have revealed substantial differences of opinion over the discretion that is available to autonomous national churches as they seek to order their own life and witness as the globalisation of Anglicanism continues. This essay outlines the particularities and peculiarities of the evolution of Anglicanism in Australia and describes the actions and attitudes of the Anglican Church of Australia towards the Anglican Communion and the conduct of its affairs. I will contend that Australia's physical isolation ' it is the world's only island continent ' its historic desire to be a loyal member of the British Commonwealth of Nations, the retention of Queen Elizabeth II as Australia's ceremonial Head of State, the preference for electing bishops and recruiting priests from England ahead of American, Canadian or South African clerical imports and a continuing fondness for the 'Mother Country', all contribute to the 'Englishness' of Australian Anglicanism and its commitment to the Anglican Communion, most particularly its Anglo-centric elements and institutions, notwithstanding the existence of radical elements and schismatic aspirations among some Australian Anglican groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-159
Number of pages17
JournalSewanee Theological Review
Volume52
Issue number2 (Easter)
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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