THE CONCEPT OF INCARNATION IN THE ANGLICAN THEOLOGY

FROM THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY TO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

by Very Rev. Fr. CONSTANTIN ALECSE
www.ConstantinAlecse.com


 

London University -Department of Theology (1977-1979)

Under the guidance of the dean, dr. A. M. Allchin, Rector of the Canterbury Cathedral.

Candidate: Father Constantin Alecse

Outline of the Ph. D. Thesis

INTRODUCTION

The Anglican Theology from the Reformation until now.

Contradiction within Christianity

  • Theme: the contradiction between asserting the faith and living a life in Christ.
  • Rediscovery of the life in Christ and reassertion of the continuous communion with Christ.
  • Christological faith and the contemporary society.

Archbishop Thomas Crammer , great liturgist rather then theologian.

  • The strong liturgical character of the Anglican Church.

THE DEVELOPPMENT OF THE TRADITIONAL ANGLICAN THEOLOGY

1550-1650 - The distinct position of Anglican Theology

  • Return to the Holy Fathers as an authoritative source for interpreting the Scriptures.
  • The Doctrine of the Trinity and of the Incarnation before the Great Schism.
    • The Doctrine of the Trinity and of the Incarnation versus the doctrine of justification through faith and predestination.

The shaping of Anglican Theology by the great Anglican theologians Richard Hooker (1554-1600) and Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626)

(a) Richard Hooker , the laws of ecclesiastical policy, fifth book:

  • Features: clear judgement, balance, remarkable power of synthesis.
  • Chalcedonian Christology, the foundation of the Doctrine of the Church.
    • Chalcedonian Cristology, the foundation of doctrine of the Sacraments.
  • The perichoresis principle in Hooker's theology.
  • Richard Hooker, a true Maxim the Confessor of the seventeenth century Anglican Church.
  1. 1. Lancelot Andrewes , great theologian and preacher.

Christmas, Easter and other great feasts sermons: deeply rooted in patristic theology:

  • Lancelot Andrewes and the theosis (deification).
  • The partaking of humanity in the divine, consequence of the partaking of the divinity in the human.
  • Lancelot Andrewes and the theology of the Holy Spirit's work in the Church.
  • The Sacraments and the life of the believer.

THE ANGLICAN THEOLOGY IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

Dr. Samuel Johnson (1696-1772)

  • The departure from the Hooker/Andrewes theological tradition in the form of Dr. Samuel Johnson's "new interpretation" (Connecticut, American colonies).

THE ANGLICAN THEOLOGY IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

(a) The Church Revival Movement , initiated in Oxford (1833) inspires:

  • Pastoral, social, liturgical, and spiritual activities.
  • Intellectual and academic activities.
  • The reinstatement as main objects of study of the doctrine of the Incarnation and the doctrine of the Church and the Sacraments as extensions of the Incarnation.
  • New interpretation of the doctrine of the Trinity.
  • Man, God's creature in His image and likeness.
  • The Holy Trinity, root and model of human society

    The communion of man with God, result of the trinitarian Communion (F.D.Maurice 1805-1872).

    A new Christian message, the answer to England's nineteenth century social and economic problems.

(b) The influence of the theologian R.M.Benson

(R.M. Benson, the founder of the first stable religious community of men within the Anglican Church).

His influence on:

  • The rebirth of a life of prayer in monasticism.
  • The return to patristic theology.
  • The direct knowledge and the experiencing of God through prayer.
  • The rediscovery of theosis .
  • Pure theology versus social ministry, according to the model of St. Calinic of Cernica.

THE ANGLICAN THEOLOGY IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

  • God came down on Earth so that man can ascend to God.
  • The Trinitarian vision, source of hope and love in contemporary society.
    • The Anglican Church rediscovers Orthodoxy in twentieth century.
  • The present relationship between Anglican and Orthodox Theologies.
    • Reciprocal recognition (Anglicanism and Orthodoxy), our recognition as sons of the same God.

CONCLUSIONS

 

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