Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology

At the outset, it must be confessed the Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology is no compedium of pure Catholic doctrine agreeable to that of the whole Church: too much opposition to Roman claims is present, scattered here and there within the works of those twenty divines collected within the LACT (to say nothing of those complete treatises directly opposing the Papacy and so forth).

However, this great nineteenth-century collection, by republishing the writings of so many Caroline Divines (though including also some who flourished earlier, and others later), played an important part in the wider Anglican ressourcement that transpired at the time of the Oxford Movement, even though the theology expressed within is not wholly in accord with more modern Anglo-Catholicism, let alone Anglo-Papalism.

Given these caveats, it is understandable that, of the 158 post-biblical readings contained in the new Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham, only 16 are drawn from Anglicans included in the LACT: Andrewes (6), Beveridge (2), Frank (3), Laud (1), Pearson (3) and Wilson (1).  These six authors alone are utilised; the other fourteen are not (Bramhall, Bull, Cosin, Crakanthorp, Forbes, Gunning, Hammond, Hickes, Johnson, L’Estrange, Marshall, Nicholson, Overall and Thorndike).  It would be interesting to look further into the criteria whereby passages have been chosen from some, but not others, for use in the Customary.

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