The Anglican Communion is not only the established Church of England but also the Christian denomination of many believers throughout the world. Like Lutheranism, Anglicanism has striven to retain whatever it could of the Roman Catholic tradition of liturgy and piety, but after the middle of the 19th century the Oxford Movement in Anglicanism went much further in the restoration of ancient liturgical usage and doctrinal belief. Although the Catholic revival also served to rehabilitate the authority of tradition in Anglican theology generally, great variety continued to characterize the theologians of the Anglican Communion. Anglicanism is set off from most other non-Roman churches in the West by its retention of and its insistence upon the apostolic succession of ordaining bishops. The Anglican claim to this apostolic succession, despite its repudiation by Pope Leo XIII in 1896, has largely determined the role of the Church of England in the discussions among the churches. Anglicanism has often taken the lead in inaugurating such discussions, but in such statements as the Lambeth Quadrilateral it has demanded the presence of the historic episcopate as a prerequisite to the establishment of full communion. During the 19th and 20th centuries many leaders of Anglican thought were engaged in finding new avenues of communication with industrial society and with the modern intellectual. The strength of Anglicanism in the New World and in the younger churches of Asia and Africa confronted this communion with the problem of deciding its relation to new forms of Christian life in these new cultures. As its centuries-old reliance upon the establishment in England was compelled to retrench, Anglicanism discovered new ways of exerting its influence and of expressing its message.



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