Tuesday, 19 February 2013

An Anglican

In a supermarket there are many different brands of marmalade. But we may have a favorite brand which we always buy. When asked why we buy particular jar of marmalade we can give all sorts of reasons such as the price, the taste and even the packaging. It is so easy to forget that the most important thing about that jar of marmalade is that it is actually marmalade and not marmite. 

The question ‘what is an Anglican?’ Is a bit like this. It is easy to get preoccupied with insignificant issues as to what makes someone or some church Anglican. When discussing this question there is a dangerous tendency to focus on features that are not so important - the use of liturgy, the sort of building ou meet in, even the presence of bishops and synods. It is easy to forget that the most important thing about being an Anglican is being a Christian. You might not use Anglican liturgy but you can still be Christian! You might enjoy Anglican liturgy and yet not be Christian!

Monday, 6 August 2012


The word Anglicanism is a neologism from the 19th century; constructed from the older word Anglican. The word refers to the teachings and rites of Christians throughout the world in communion with the see of Canterbury. It has come to be used to refer to the claim of these churches to a unique religious and theological tradition apart from all other Christian churches, be they Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Protestant; and is entirely distinct from the allegiance of some of these churches to the British Crown.

The word "Anglican" originates in ecclesia anglicana, a Medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 meaning the "English Church". As an adjective, "Anglican" is used to describe the people, institutions and churches, as well as the liturgical traditions and theological concepts, developed by the Church of England. As a noun, an Anglican is a member of a church in the Anglican Communion. The word is also used by followers of separated groups which have left the communion or have been founded separately from it, though this is sometimes considered as a misuse.

Although the term "Anglican" is found referring to the Church of England as far back as the 16th century, its use did not become general until the latter half of the 19th century. In British parliamentary legislation referring to the English Established Church, it is described as the "Protestant Episcopal Church", thereby distinguishing it from the counterpart established "Protestant Presbyterian Church" in Scotland. High Churchmen, who objected to the term "Protestant", initially promoted the term "Reformed Episcopal Church"; and it remains the case that the word "Episcopal" is preferred in the title of the Episcopal Church (the province of the Anglican Communion covering the United States) and the Scottish Episcopal Church. Outside the British Isles, however, the term "Anglican Church" came to be preferred; as it distinguished these churches from others that claimed an episcopal polity; although some churches, in particular the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Church of Ireland and the Church in Wales continue to use the term only with reservations.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Odes (Horace)

The Odes (Latin Carmina) are a collection in four books of Latin lyric poems by Horace. The Horatian ode format and style has been emulated since by other poets. Books 1 to 3 were published in 23 BC. According to the journal Quadrant, they were "unparalleled by any collection of lyric poetry produced before or after in Latin literature". A fourth book, consisting of 15 poems, was published in 13 BC.

The Odes were developed as a conscious imitation of the short lyric poetry of Greek originals. Pindar, Sappho and Alcaeus are some of Horace's models; his genius lay in applying these older forms to the social life of Rome in the age of Augustus. The Odes have been considered traditionally by English-speaking scholars as purely literary works. Recent evidence by a Horatian scholar suggests they were intended as performance art, a Latin re-interpretation of Greek lyric song.

The Roman writer Petronius, writing less than a century after Horace's death, remarked on the curiosa felicitas (studied spontaneity) of the Odes (Satyricon 118). The English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson declared that the Odes provided "jewels five-words long, that on the stretched forefinger of all Time / Sparkle for ever" (The Princess, part II, l.355).

The earliest positively dated poem in the collection is I.37 (an ode on the defeat of Cleopatra at the battle of Actium, clearly written in 30 B.C.), though it is possible some of the lighter sketches from the Greek (e.g. I.10, a hymn to the god Mercury) are contemporary with Horace's earlier Epodes and Satires. The collected odes were first published in three books in 23 B.C.