All is religion

Religion sayings


A religion without the element of mystery would not be a religion at all.

If God doesnТt like the way I live, let him tell me, not you.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.

Difference of religion breeds more quarrels than difference of politics.

Theories

In their rejection of absolute parliamentary authority, the Tractarians Ц and in particular John Henry Newman Ц looked back to the writings of 17th century Anglican divines, finding in these texts the idea of the English church as a via media between the Protestant and Catholic traditions.[23] This view was associated Ц especially in the writings of Edward Bouverie Pusey Ц with the theory of Anglicanism as one of three "branches" (alongside the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches) historically arising out of the common tradition of the earliest Ecumenical Councils. Newman himself subsequently rejected the theory of the via media, as essentially historicist and static; and hence unable to accommodate any dynamic development within the church.[23] Nevertheless, the aspiration to ground Anglican identity in the writings of the 17th century divines, and in faithfulness to the traditions of the Church Fathers reflects a continuing theme of Anglican ecclesiology, most recently in the writings of Henry Robert McAdoo.[24] The Tractarian formulation of the theory of the via media was essentially a party platform, and not acceptable to Anglicans outside the confines of the Oxford Movement. However, the theory of the via media was reworked in the ecclesiological writings of Frederick Denison Maurice, in a more dynamic form that became widely influential. Both Maurice and Newman saw the Church of England of their day as sorely deficient in faith; but whereas Newman had looked back to a distant past when the light of faith might have appeared to burn brighter, Maurice looked forward to the possibility of a brighter revelation of faith in the future. Maurice saw the Protestant and Catholic strands within the Church of England as contrary but complementary, both maintaining elements of the true church, but incomplete without the other; such that a true catholic and evangelical church might come into being by a union of opposites.[25] Central to Maurice's perspective, is his belief that the collective elements of family, nation and church represent a divine order of structures through which God unfolds his continuing work of creation. Hence, for Maurice, the Protestant tradition has maintained the lements of national distinction which are amongst the marks of the true universal church, but which have been lost within Roman Catholicism in the internationalism of centralised Papal Authority. Within the coming universal church that Maurice foresaw, national churches would each maintain the six signs of Catholicity: baptism, Eucharist, the creeds, Scripture, an episcopally ordered ministry, and a fixed liturgy (which could take a variety of forms in accordance with divinely ordained distinctions in national characteristics).[23] Not surprisingly, this vision of a becoming universal church as a congregation of autonomous national churches, proved highly congenial in Anglican circles; and Maurice's six signs were adapted to form the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1888.[26] In the latter decades of the 20th century, Maurice's theory, and the various strands of Anglican thought that derived from it, have been criticised by Stephen Sykes;[27] who argues that the terms Protestant and Catholic as used in these approaches are synthetic constructs denoting ecclesiastic identities unacceptable to those to whom the labels are applied. Hence, the Roman Catholic Church does not regard itself as a party or strand within the universal church Ц but rather identifies itself as the universal church. Moreover, Sykes criticises the proposition, implicit in theories of via media, that there is no distinctive body of Anglican doctrine, other than those of the universal church; accusing this of being an excuse not to undertake systematic doctrine at all.[28] Contrariwise, Sykes notes a high degree of commonality in Anglican liturgical forms, and in the doctrinal understandings expressed within those liturgies. He proposes that Anglican identity might rather be found within a shared consistent pattern of prescriptive liturgies, established and maintained through canon law, and embodying both a historic deposit of formal statements of doctrine, and also framing the regular reading and proclamation of scripture.[29] Sykes nevertheless agrees with those heirs of Maurice who emphasise the incompleteness of Anglicanism as a positive feature, and quotes with qualified approval the words of Michael Ramsay: