Colegiul Na ional ÄAvram Iancu´ Câmpeni Lucrare de atestat profesional
The Evolution of the Christianity in England
Prof. Coordonator: ufan Felicia Elev: Todera Larisa Ioana Cls. a XII-a F.B.E.
Religion represents sacred engagement with that which is believed to be a spiritual reality. Religion is a worldwide phenomenon that has played a part in all human culture and so is a much broader, more complex category than the set of beliefs or practices found in any single religious tradition. An adequate understanding of religion must take into account its distinctive qualities and patterns as a form of human experience, as well as the similarities and differences in religions across human cultures.
Most religions are practiced in fairly specific world regions. The spread of religions occurred mainly due to human migration and the development of telecommunications. This chart shows the number of believers of each of the world religions in thousands. Over one-third of the world¶s population adheres to a form of Christianity. Latin America has the largest number of Christians, most of whom are Roman Catholics. Islam is practiced by nearly one-fifth of the world¶s population, most of whom live in parts of Asia, particularly the Middle East. Judaism, though a major world religion, has fewer followers than Hinduism, Buddhism, and various other religions practiced primarily in Asia. Atheists and those who consider themselves nonreligious make up more than onefifth of the world¶s population.
In all cultures, human beings make a practice of interacting with what are taken to be spiritual powers. These powers may be in the form of gods, spirits, ancestors, or any kind of sacred reality with which humans believe themselves to be connected. Sometimes a spiritual power is understood broadly as an all-embracing reality, and sometimes it is approached through its manifestation in special symbols. It may be regarded as external to the self, internal, or both. People interact with such a presence in a sacred manner²that is, with reverence and care. Religion is the term most commonly used to designate this complex and diverse realm of human experience. The word religion is derived from the Latin noun religio, which denotes both earnest observance of ritual obligations and an inward spirit of reverence. In modern usage, religion covers a wide spectrum of meanings that reflect the enormous variety of ways the term can be interpreted. At one extreme, many committed believers recognize only their own tradition as a religion, understanding expressions such as worship and prayer to refer exclusively to the practices of their tradition. Although many believers stop short of claiming an exclusive status for their tradition, they may nevertheless use vague or idealizing terms in defining religion²for example, ³true love of God,´ or ³the path of enlightenment.´ At the other extreme, religion may be equated with ignorance, fanaticism, or wishful thinking. By defining religion as a sacred engagement with what is taken to be a spiritual reality, it is possible to consider the importance of religion in human life without making claims about what it really is or ought to be. Religion is not an object with a single, fixed meaning, or even a zone with clear boundaries. It is an aspect of human experience that may intersect, incorporate, or transcend other aspects of life and society. Such a definition avoids the drawbacks of limiting the investigation of religion to Western or biblical categories such as monotheism (belief in one god only) or to church structure, which are not universal. For example, in tribal societies, religion²unlike the Christian church²usually is not a separate institution but pervades the whole of public and private life. In Buddhism, gods are not as central as the idea of a Buddha (fully enlightened human being). In many traditional cultures the idea of a sacred cosmic order is the most prominent religious belief. Because of this variety, some scholars prefer to use a general term such as the sacred to designate the common foundation of religious life. Religion in this understanding includes a complex of activities that cannot be reduced to any single aspect of human experience. It is a part of individual life but also of group dynamics. Religion includes patterns of behavior but also patterns of language and thought. It is sometimes a highly organized institution that sets itself apart from a culture, and it is sometimes an integral part of a culture. Religious experience may be expressed in visual symbols, dance and performance, elaborate
religion is an important force in attempt to unite all nations. for a better life and coexistence. meditative techniques.
The Druidic religious culture
The history of England begins with the Anglo-Saxons. legendary and imaginative stories. Each of these elements assumes innumerable cultural forms.philosophical systems. who invaded Great Britain about AD 449.
England guarantees its citizens religious freedom without interference from the state or the community. As in many European countries today. tying together all humans. yet nearly all faiths have devoted congregations of active members. Christianity in Britain during the days of the Roman Empire
As Christianity spread through the Western world. English religious culture transformed from one of pagan worship to that of leadership in the Christian world. the majority of the population in Britain does not regularly attend religious services. They displaced the previous occupants from the southeastern part of the island and called it Angle-land.
. and most of the world's religions have followers in Britain. Controversies included more than merely paganChristian dynamics. Nowhere is this more evident than in Roman Britain and the era of Anglo-Saxon migrations.
In conclusion. In some ways there are as many forms of religious expression as there are human cultural environments. formal ceremonies. the Christians were greatly divided.
2. and detailed rules of ethical conduct and law. it rarely followed a linear path: different pockets of faith and doctrine were developed by a variety of peoples in an even greater variety of locales. An increasing percentage of the population professes no religious faith and some organizations represent secular outlooks. In five centuries. and Christian efforts went through many ebbs before becoming firmly established. One must evaluate the development of both Rome and England to gain an adequate understanding of early English Christianity.
however. persons afflicted by severe illness or involved in wars and danger either make human sacrifices or vow to do so. Their priests. They were the expression of both a local government and a community spirituality that were bound to a larger whole.decisions by Druid priests were final and irrefutable. and use the Druids as their ministers in these ceremonies. they were the priests of the primitive government. For they have no Druids to preside over their religion. caves. "Scotland". forests. Fifty-five years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Their penalties were swift and severe. and. the island. he found their brutality and centrality immediately threatening. The Germans differ much from the Gauls in these customs. and presided over civil and criminal legal matters (to the point of deciding controversies among states). y
Romanization of the Britain
. Caesar viewed them with contempt. they subdued and absorbed the indigenous inhabitants of the islands. remained immune from military duty and taxes. and "Wales" are used purely to indicate geographic location relative to modern boundaries . The Ice Age. The entire social structure. dominated their society. (Note: The terms "England".at this time period. and possessed considerable authority as such. Julius Caesar encountered the Druidic religious culture in his invasion of Britain. like Europe. Although it had long been known to the Mediterranean peoples as a source of tin. In addition to their spiritual duties. with many individual Celts and Britons banished from contact with civilization. during which in the 1st millennium BC the Celts overran the British Isles. and became the personification of natural objects and events. was home for a succession of peoples dating from the beginnings of the Old Stone Age. with the Druid priests presiding above all. permanent occupation had to wait until Rome had solved more pressing problems at home. Previously. therefore. Britain did not enter the Roman world until Julius Caesar's arrival in 55 BC²a sort of afterthought to his conquest of Gaul. as they did virtually all of western Europe. both as local community and as loose nation-state. They ruled with an iron fist . and wrote of the Druids: All the Gauls are as a nation much given to superstition. the Druids. Although only recently established in Caesar's day. With iron plows they cultivated the heavy soil of the river valleys. Druid priests were responsible for educating the youth. Caesar's contact. horse-drawn chariots.or England. with iron weapons and two-wheeled. Druidism was a polytheistic cult with a naturist bent: gods and goddesses were believed to inhabit local springs. these individual countries did not exist). and mountains. was temporary. Many aspects of Druidic culture surfaced in the formation of Celtic Christianity. the Druids exerted tremendous influence over British society. was a caste system.
Roman religion. however.
Social conditions in Rome and dissatisfaction with the corrupt Roman government left many peasants in search of a spiritual fulfillment that was lacking in Roman religious institutions. Rome would tolerate native religious rites. much like Druidism.
The Roman Empire was approaching the height of her power as Britain became her furthest frontier. For Britain to be subjugated under the authority of Rome. and finally the full annexation of Britain by Rome. but would brook no treason. The advent of Christianity in the mid-first century. and many were persecuted as enemies of the state (quite similar to the Druidic situation in Britain).
. Britain officially became a frontier province of the Empire with the invasion of the Emperor Claudius' troops in 43 AD. but had yet to gain anything approaching religious supremacy on the island. was inherently intertwined with politics. The Roman army evolved into an institution of social mobility as Britain was romanized in the first and second centuries. as Christian missionaries traveled easily along Roman roads on evangelistic expeditions. and as nonItalians gained more important official posts and social status. the rebellious Druids had to be exterminated. as the latter refused polytheistic Roman religious beliefs. The universality of the empire. The army paved the way for a flourishing Roman culture in southern England by the early second century. Early Christians refused to bow before Roman authority as the Jews had previously done. many of the new breed of landed aristocrats were either tolerant of or converted to Christianity.
The advent of Christianity
Christianity gained a foothold in Britain by the mid-second century. Early Christian churches were local communal affairs the community¶s inhabitants elected each board of elders democratically. however. paved the way for the universality of Christianity. Early Christians were exceedingly zealous in their faith.Druidic paganism was destined to be replaced with the advent of further Roman expeditions into the islands. and thus rejected Roman governmental prerogative. Jews received a high level of tolerance from the state in their religious practices. developed into a leviathan that eventually strained Roman tolerance. as long as they maintained loyalty to the empire. Roman legions embarked on a campaign of terror against the Druids. Caesar did little more than establish a foothold on the island.
As Christianity became more organized and gained momentum throughout Roman society. and Asia Minor simultaneously with Frankish incursions in Gaul and Spain. only two of whom who did not die violently. in 249. was the first to blame the Christians' refusal to sacrifice to Roman gods for the ills befalling the empire. Persians penetrated eastern territories and northern Germanic tribes overran the Balkans. as the educated and landed aristocracy as well as the peasant and merchant classes. By the third century.
y Systematic persecutions of the Christians
While the Empire deteriorated. The Church had created a hierarchy. Emperors in the third century attempted like solutions and were frustrated by lack of enforcement by local officials. some emperors replied with systematic persecutions. bishops were simply approved by the congregation after being nominated by the clergy. twenty-two individuals. Christianity now appealed to the entire spectrum of society. and fifty years of relentless civil war tarnished the image and reputation of Rome. Between 235 and 284 AD. Greece. which captured the attention of Roman officials. Persecutions lasted until the closing years of the reign of Diocletian (284-
. as it moved away from the looseness and democratic administration of the first and second centuries. increasing barbaric invasions from the north.
The third century proved disastrous to the empire: an outbreak of the plague. The role of bishop was crucial to Christian administrative reform: bishops were still chosen by the community in the second century. but made a lesser impact on the island isolated from events occurring throughout the continental empire. a government within a government. These effects rippled into Britain. with presbyters as priests subject to the bishop's control. The strong monarchy and "good emperors" of the second century devolved into anarchy under the military regimes of the third century.As Christianity spread throughout the empire. sat upon the Roman throne. Decius. local scale. Roman government was disrupted as any military leader who had enough strength and persuasion could (and did) become emperor. Christians endured persecution in the first and second centuries. Manpower shortages due to plague sharply decreased trade and commerce. The persecutions were only slightly successful. but assumed more authority as they served as leaders. the structure of Christianity gained strength in the third century. but on an individualized. the Roman government found Christian refusals to worship Roman gods and participate in Roman festivals increasingly distressing. and consecrated in office. sought a more personal relationship with a deity than was offered by the Roman gods.
The western portion. in fact. but even he was forced to admit that Christianity had grown in influence to the point that it must. granted official tolerance to Christianity and was honored as the first Christian emperor. be tolerated. Christians in official posts quickly used their new found influence to outlaw pagan practices. at least. in the Edict of Milan in 313. idols. Christianity grew ever stronger. bishops became crucial to Church administration. the Huns invaded Italy and Germanic tribes sacked Rome twice by the mid-fifth century. The position of bishop evolved from the president or chief priest of each Christian community. Constant pressure from northern barbarians crippled the western empire. Christianity was made the official state religion.
3. under the control of Valentinian I and his successors lasted barely one century. dioceses and parishes
Church structure underwent further expansion as Christianity grew in the fourth and fifth centuries. but was gradually transformed from Roman to Byzantine in nature. as these high-level priests assumed administrative functions
. pagan temples. and altars were destroyed as well. The eastern empire continued in the new capitol city of Constantinople (ancient Byzantium). The Roman Empire was split in half once again (as it was under Diocletian's reforms) in 364 by brother-emperors Valentinian I and Valens in order to better defend the empire from increasing encroachments. a Germanic chieftain. although he was not baptized until the end of his life. but Christianity had. In 476. such as ritual sacrifice. Basics of the Church of England
y Church administration-bishops. while the eastern sector survived for seven hundred years.305).Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed by Odavacar.
y Official tolerance of Christianity-Edict of Milan (313)
Roman civilization continued to unravel in the fourth and fifth centuries. Some degree of Eastern mysticism and aristocratic philosophy remained for several decades. all subsequent emperors claimed Christianity as their religion. poised to supplant the authority of the disintegrating empire. The emperor Constantine (306337). With the exception of the three year reign of Julian (360-363). triumphed. In the reign of Theodosius "the Great" (378-395). the western empire was extinguished .
one each in Rome. Antioch. At first. challenged the validity of sacraments (the earthly manifestation of receiving God's grace) offered by immoral priests. setting an important precedent with major implications for the future: the Church was now able to exercise authority over the state in matters of faith and morality. a priest in North Africa. with archbishops at the head of each province. The primary concern for priests was the parish. Some time in the third century (a precise date is unknown). The patriarchs (bishops of the widest influence) were the highest level. revealing the alterations that had occurred in Church-state relations throughout the empire. The founding of Constantinople as the seat of the Eastern Empire. Christ's human/divine nature proved immensely important to early Christians. His followers. and were thus inferior to God. approximately equal in size to a Roman city-state. Arianism was directly refuted by Athanasius' argument that Jesus was both human and divine. representing the greatest cities in Christendom . a see was the territory of higher order bishops). maintained that Jesus Christ must have been created by God. Donatus. Such high ranking bishops were believed to have inherited their power in a direct line from an Apostle.
y Conflicts and heresies
Christianity spread to the furthest reaches of the empire in the fourth century. Each major city of the empire came to have its own bishop and became known as a bishopric. a priest from the Egyptian city of Alexandria. seat. these duties fell on priests. Ambrose of Milan went so far as to refuse communion to Emperor Theodosius on two occasions. Arius. called Arians. imitated Diocletian's political reforms. bishops' duties included administering the sacraments of baptism and communion. Varying interpretations of scripture and differences in doctrine created conflicting pockets of Christianity. and with the official addition of Jerusalem as a holy see (seat of Christian administration) in 451. The clustering of bishoprics together along imperial provincial lines. or priests who denied the faith under persecution. however. A bishop's rank was dependent on whether or not he had received consecration through a succession of bishops traceable back to an Apostle. and Alexandria. Apostolic Succession was employed for determining the legitimacy of bishops. but controversy surfaced during the expansion. Patriarchal rivalry would come to cause great consternation within Christendom. the number of patriarchs grew to five.within the growing communities. challenged the divine nature of Jesus Christ. but as the bishops' administrative areas increased. required the creation of a fourth patriarch. Bishops came to exert great power by the end of the fourth century. and the successive passing of office in this manner led to the establishment of sees (from the Latin sedes . and was
Many early Christians (particularly in the west) sought knowledge from the Bible alone. it was simple to transfer secular power to its spiritual leadership. Through the machinations of several Roman bishops. Donatism was similarly dispatched by the church in 411.Constantine's impetus for convening the Council of Nicea in 325. but divine revelation was necessary for an understanding of complete truth. classical education. These and other heresies served to consolidate Christian doctrine. eastern converts tried to reconcile Christianity and classical education in order to clarify doctrinal issues. most influential were the Confessions . the Roman patriarch rose to the prominent position of Pope (taken from the Latin papa. an expression of Christian principles as applied to government. With the spread of Christianity into the eastern regions of the empire in the third and fourth centuries. The council condemned Arianism. He produced volumes dedicated to every aspect of Christian life. casting off the classical heritage of traditional Greco-Roman thought and philosophy.
Several other important developments of enduring influence on Christendom occurred in this period. By no means was this universally accepted. especially those of Rome and Constantinople. an account of his worldliness before being converted. they strove to avoid contact with such humanism. Rivalries between patriarchs.
The union of classical thought. The slavic Jerome (345-420) was the greatest scholar of the early Church fathers: his extensive knowledge of Hebrew. Greek. and Christian theology found its most profound expression in Augustine. allowed him to translate both the Old and New Testaments into Latin. and his position as first bishop of Rome: all subsequent Roman bishops were deemed Peter's successors. erupted as clergy exerted more control over temporal affairs. bishop of Hippo (354-430). was organized on an imperial pattern with Rome as a familiar administrative center. the New Testament was written in Greek . and Latin. agreeing with Athanasius' assertion that Christ was "of the same substance" as God. The argument for papal supremacy centered on Peter being the chief Apostle (a questionable interpretation of a passage in the Gospel of Matthew). creating the Latin Vulgate . however. when it was decreed that the moral condition of a priest had no bearing on the validity of the sacraments. the standard biblical text of the medieval Catholic
. or father). Equating classical thought with the pagan practices of the dying empire. and City of God . Augustine agreed that philosophy could reveal some truth. as long as the priest had been properly ordained. Since the Church. Greek became the language of eastern Christians.and Christians turned to Greek thought to express the complications of Christian theology.
from the Greek monachos (alone). Up to that point. monasticism served as a link between Greco-Roman civilization and the Renaissance. women were included: nuns and monks lived and worked under the guidance of a common rule and a common leader in the so-called double monastery.church.many of which occurred as means to avoid the persecution of pagans or to gain the practical economic and cultural advantages of Christianity in the later Empire. Britain was still a province of Rome. Structurally. Roman legions were evacuated from Britain to the continent to resist increasing barbarian invasion. Monasticism became the bastion of classical learning and culture throughout Europe. leaving their imprint on Christianity for the next millennium. and the increasing corruption of the now wealthy clergy. Monks abandoned society and devoted themselves entirely to their own salvation through fasting. and historically. These monks believed self-denial was the true expression of piety and the path that led to God. By the early fifth century.they actually drew crowds. The chief monk was the abbot. was the institution of monasticism. Although still a minority in the whole of the
. which was to have major influence on the development of British Christianity. In the late fourth and early fifth centuries. men were subordinated to a female leader (an abbess) and used to lead worship (under Catholic doctrine only males could be priests) and as a labor force. Candidates studied hard to be ordained. As monasticism filtered westward. Augustine and Jerome utilized classical tradition and pagan culture to further Christian theology. and many monks poured over Latin and Greek manuscripts in their studies and work. For the first time on an official scale. and isolation in the wilderness. it was refined: Western monks were more concerned with living lives free from earthly corruption. with Christianity the official religion of Roman citizens. as monks' increasingly erratic behavior brought about the opposite of their original intention . but refrained from the outrageous actions of their eastern brothers. surfaced as ecclesiastics sought refuge from mass conversions of the third century.
y The institution of monasticism-the bastion of classical learning and culture
One final development. Such asceticism went to extremes in the east. Abbots and abbesses ruled the community. Many abbesses. and became instrumental in the development of towns in the Middle Ages. In many double monasteries. who had full authority over the activities and members of the monastery. especially those in Anglo-Saxon England. spiritually. politically. Monasticism. many monasteries (communities of monks) had been established. frequent prayer. were from royal houses and controlled vast territories and thousands of people.
Saxon. Christianity took root in the poorer ranks of society living outside the highly Romanized towns. At least three British bishops attended the Council of Ariminum in 360. These disconnected pieces of evidence imply. date for Albanus' martyrdom is 209 AD. early British Christians also endured some degree of persecution. The first indication of the independent nature of British Christianity occurred in the first years of the fifth century. the majority of British Christians fled to the west amid the onslaught of Angle. Pelagius. The accepted. The debate raged long after the death of both men. expressed the belief that man was responsible directly to God for his actions. Saxons. Fifth century monasticism proved to be the leading factor in the Christianization of the British Isles. Albanus of Verulamium was killed in a campaign that resulted in the destruction of many churches. but the British Church accepted and enforced the resulting condemnation of Arianism. (Bede's Ecclesiastic History of the English People remains the primary source of both the spiritual and cultural history of the Anglo-Saxon era). The Venerable Bede. When Rome abandoned Britain. but in spite of three centuries of Imperial rule. an eighth century British monk and scholar. Such areas in the south were still within the sphere of Roman influence. The British Church was sufficiently organized by 314 to warrant representation at the Council of Arles. the majority of Christians in Britain were of Celtic background. but do not prove. Christianity had made an impact in the southern. without direct intervention by governmental or ecclesiastic authority. No British representatives attended the Council of Nicea in 325 or the Council of Sardica in 343. In fact.
y Missionary work on Britain¶s lands
In Roman Britain. more romanized regions of Britain. and Jutes from pagan northern Germany invaded and easily conquered the central and
. and later canonized as a martyr by English Catholics. both spiritually and politically. a British priest residing in Italy. the period was a turning point in the further development of Christianity in England. Angles. This was contrary to the views of Augustine in the City of God . grace was attained through the effort to abide by the law of God. and had serious implications in the Christianizing of the British Isles. a strong Christian presence in Britain before the province was released from imperial attachments in the fifth century. where a Christian government directed the activities if its citizens. although there is no indication that British Christianity had any official capacity within Roman Christendom. Augustine's mission in 597 AD. but were too poor to pay their own expenses. Aaron and Julius of Caerlon were likewise murdered in Christian persecutions. and Jute invasions.island. but disputed. revealed that Irish monks still clung to Pelagian theory well into the seventh century. Isolated from Roman Christianity until St.
He had considerably less success with his British brothers. but finally made his way home to Britain. Ireland was never part of the Roman Empire and remained somewhat isolated from the continent. and generosity could replace the sword as the primary instrument of organizing a society. even after Patrick's mass
. He endured six years of isolation as a shepherd.especially Irish kings . He succeeded in his mission to Ireland on many different levels: he converted thousands of individuals. incorporating native pagan rituals and holidays into their faith to synthesize a unique brand of Welsh Christianity.southern regions of England after Roman troops withdrew. With Roman culture all but vanished and the Picts and Scots exiled to the northernmost regions. but was kidnapped at age sixteen as a laborer by Irish slave traders. Christian monasticism arrived in Ireland in the form of Saint Patrick. spending the time in prayer and reaching out to the Holy Spirit. Patrick's experiences as a carefree Romano-British teenager. Patrick (c.390-461) was born of Christian Briton parents. His parents welcomed him. invaded the coast of northern Ireland and destroyed entire communities. a west coast king. carting away Patrick's converts by the thousands. After successful completion of his studies. Patrick proceeded at once to Ireland. was virtually abandoned in the English territory. Patrick established many monasteries and bishoprics throughout all but southern Ireland. and persuaded the Irish people . monasteries and convents became involved in local affairs. he was ordained as a priest and bishop. He accepted the Irish people just as they were. the invading barbarians turned their attention to the Scots and Picts. At the same time. Native culture. felt little desire to attempt the conversion of the Germanic tribes. Upon his return from the continent in 432. Celtic Christianity developed differently than Roman Christianity. Petty Anglo-Saxon warlords established kingdoms throughout Britain upon the evacuation of the remaining Roman legion. established church structure. Patrick spoke of the evils of slavery. Coroticus. and genuinely loved his adopted people. but another vision compelled him to travel to Gaul and enroll in a monastery (probably the monastery in Lerins) in preparation for missionary work in Ireland. the monastic movement of Roman Christianity became increasingly evangelistic. The Roman Christians in Wales were no help to Patrick as they viewed the emerging Celtic Christianity with contempt and were snobbish to the Irish monk. in turn. In this period. Welsh Christians. Irish monasticism continued to thrive despite these early setbacks. converting native peoples while establishing a link to classical culture and education. whether Celtic or Roman. both men and women. sending missionaries into remote locations untouched by the empire. he escaped to the continent on an Irish ship. driving them into the Scottish highlands. Roman Christians fled to Wales.that faithfulness. courage. which was abolished in Ireland shortly after his death. After driving the Britons into Wales. especially within the British Isles. Prompted by a vision. an isolated slave and holy man in Ireland and classically trained monk set the stage for a unique twist in Christianity.
took twelve disciple monks to northern Italy and founded a
. and marriage. in both Welsh and Roman Christianity: Celtic Christianity encouraged missionary work throughout the world. Continental missionary work also sprang from Columba's monastery in Iona: Saint Columbanus. practicing strenuous fasts and meditation under severe privation. a young monk. and communal living and worship among brethren.
Celtic Christianity. however. just off the western coast of Scotland. Ireland had few walls and divided pastures. Remaining isolated from the continent prevented the corruption of the Latin language that occurred in European monasteries.
The first new wave of Christianity since the conversions of Roman British citizens in the fourth century began with the founding of a new Celtic monastery on the island of Iona. like Welsh Christianity. Catholic structure had been based on a model of Roman government that was unknown in Ireland. and Oriental elements passed down from the original monasteries in the east. Confession of sin became common. as bishops and priests were allowed to administer sacraments. under rules established by Saint Benedict of Nursia. Celtic monks were ascetics. rather than bishoprics. Irish monasticism. Celtic women fought like Amazons. was found in the very nature of each community. Authority became hereditary. such Benedictine monasteries favored moderation over asceticism. Celtic images. with abbots exerting far more influence than bishops. Established in 563 by Saint Columba. so much that Irish monks wrote manuals dedicated to dispatching appropriate penitentials for various sins. became the fundamental unit of Celtic Christianity. was largely ignored.conversions. as an institution. Columba himself was almost single-handedly responsible for the conversion of the Picts. The most profound difference between Celtic and Roman monasticism. By the sixth century. with nine successive abbots of his clan converting virtually all of Scotland and nearly two-thirds of England. Irish monasticism employed select Druidic elements: monastic communities petitioned clans for land grants in return for educating the clan's youth in the priestly arts. and Celtic monks provided beautiful manuscripts illustrated with geometric patterns. however. and the Roman date for Easter was slightly altered to coincide with local fertility festivals. possessed one feature which was lacking. up to the sixth century. but were recruited and directed by powerful abbots and abbesses. and by the mid-fifth century. the absolute authority of the abbot. war was the sport of kings. The Irish fervor for learning encouraged writing. Celtic monks shaved their heads in the Druidic tradition. Monasteries. Iona proved to be pivotal in christianizing Scotland and northern England. a Celtic monk. was shaped much more by local concerns and compromise with the natives. Continental monasteries were refuges from the world. Irish monasticism exhibited outward signs of these differences.
is the leniency which the pagan kings showed to Christians: Christians were allowed to worship as they pleased. immediately targeting the Kentish king. under the reigns of Tudor monarchs). Lindisfarne. Roman Christianity quickly spread northward to confront Celtic Christianity. Edwin and his subjects converted. The kingdom of Mercia. commenced in the south in 597. With Canterbury as its base. Benedict Biscop and Wilfrid. Mercian paganism became the official religion of the kingdom. but sought an alliance with Welsh Christians in its struggle for supremacy over Northumbria.monastery in Bobbio. but pressures from Mercia provided the impetus for still another trend in the Christianization of England. a courtesy which was not extended to pagans when Christian kingdoms triumphed. Augustine landed in Thanet. Paulinus. Mercia triumphed. ruled by Penda. from which the southern conversions flourished. Ethel Bert. Of special note. whose wife was a Frankish Christian. as pagan and Christian kingdoms fought for dominance. the highly influential pope of 590-604. were instrumental in winning Northumbria to Celtic Christianity. however. with two Northumbrian kings. Aidan of Iona founded a monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in 635. Roman Christianity established a firm hold on southern England. As the Irish monks converted the north. several kingdoms vacillated between paganism and Christianity as power shifted among the Saxon kingdoms. practiced Norse pagan religions. Gregory and his disciples acknowledged the wisdom of incorporating native fertility and harvest rituals into the list of Christian holidays. Ethel Bert¶s baptism inspired the conversion of a sizable majority of subjects: the trend of subjects following a king's conversion became a common thread of the spread of Christianity in southern England (the same trend resurfaced during the English reformation. Edwin and Oswald. a second wave of missionary work was Roman in nature. Augustine established a monastery in Canterbury. of Augustine's original party. The first half of the seventh century is one of the most important periods in British ecclesiastic history.
y St. Augustine¶s Mission (597) and establishment of Christianity in Britain
Gregory the Great. even
. became a member of King Edwin's Northumberland court. This trend continued throughout the seventh century. and which was to become the most powerful seat of Christianity in Britain. dispatched Augustine (later to gain sainthood) to England with the express purpose of converting the Saxon kings of south England. through connection's with Edwin's Christian wife. and two of his monks. losing their lives in the struggle.
A gradual fusion of Celtic and Roman Christianity ensued: the Archbishop of Canterbury was made the highest ranking ecclesiastic in Britain. with the exception of the two small islands. failed to come to terms until 738. Wilfrid traveled to Italy after the establishment of the monastery at Lindisfarne and became a firm proponent of uniting Rome and England. must be attributed to an effort to solidify alliances with the kingdoms of Wessex. England under a united Christianity. as well as religious. for example. maintained that all of Christendom. was a powerful component of the medieval church. Oswy. the Lindisfarne Gospels. was completed in 700. in large part. but Roman and Celtic Christians lacked the motivation and flexibility to resolve the conflict until the Synod of Whitby in 664. The missionary and intellectual work of Celtic monasticism. Theodore of Tarsus was appointed to carry out the successful parish reorganization of England. whose work included conversion of the Frisians and Swabians in Germany. but not irrefutable. was allowed to thrive. under the influence of a new generation of fervent Roman Christian princes. became a center for training and education: the most famous illuminated manuscript of Celtic monasticism. against Mercia. The Welsh church. and Alcuin of
. The Whitby decision was irrevocable. overtones. Welsh and Roman Christians addressed the issues without resolution on the banks of the Severn in the 640's. and Kent. At Whitby. English monasticism was saved as an important training institution for further missionary work and remained the main depository of intellectual activities throughout the Middle Ages. agreed on doctrine as espoused by Rome. Essex. and pockets of resistance lasted until the ninth century. with the various bishops and monasteries subordinated to his authority. however. ruled in favor of Roman Christianity. Three monks from monasteries established by Benedict Biscop became highly influential members of Christendom: the previously mentioned Bede. the meeting carried political. and Roman dates were employed to delineate holidays. Held in Northumbria at the behest of King Oswy. Saint Boniface. His decision. Wilfrid spoke on behalf of Roman Christianity.more than Iona. Paganism was in the final stages of its vitality as religious controversy moved from the basis of paganism versus Christianity to Roman versus Celtic Christianity.
y From basics of paganism versus Christianity to Roman versus Celtic Christianity
Arguments over the proper calendar dates for feasts and differences in discipline raged throughout England during the mid-seventh century. however.
Prior to the flowering of Christianity in the Empire. who carried Christianity and intellectualism into the illiterate court of the Frankish king.
y England-an essential part of Roman Catholicism
Several comparisons can be made between the development of Christianity in both the Roman Empire and England. The largest difference between Roman and English Christianity occurred in the development of monasticism. as well as compromise with native peoples in the course of the conversion process. Christianity took root in the peasant classes (as was the case in Roman Britain). and the subsequent disparity of doctrine. social changes were initiated by the upper echelons of society and traveled downward through the lower castes. England proved to be a microcosm of Christendom as a whole. Cultural clashes developed different interpretations of scripture in both civilizations.
4.York. filtering up into higher social orders as it became more acceptable. England was to remain an essential part of Roman Catholicism until the marital antics of Henry VIII in the sixteenth century. created conflicts and controversies. and this contrast remained throughout the entire medieval period: British monasticism remained dedicated to classical thought while continental monasticism was corrupted through increasing contact with native civilizations and migrant Germanic tribes. the aristocracy saw Christianity as fashionable. In most instances. Charlemagne. church order and freedom of conscience
. After the mass conversions of the second and third centuries. The Reformation
y Conflicts over theology. the majority of the Anglo-Saxon conversions occurred as subjects followed the lead of their kings. and such superficial conversions had an influence on the development of monasticism.
In England the beginning of the movement toward ultimate independence from papal jurisdiction was the enactment of the statutes of Mortmain in 1279. and the moral and intellectual standards of ordained priests. he translated the Bible into English and delivered sermons in English. economic. Resentment against papal taxation and against submission to ecclesiastical officials of the distant and foreign papacy was manifested in other countries of Europe. From the Revival of the Holy Roman Empire by Otto I in 962. which ended the ecclesiastical supremacy of the pope in Western Christendom and resulted in the establishment of the Protestant churches. when Martin Luther first defied the authority of the church. suppressed with difficulty by the combined forces of the Holy Roman emperor and the pope. His teachings spread to Bohemia. The execution of Huss as a heretic in 1415 led directly to the Hussite Wars. but created bitter antagonism between Rome and the German Empire. where they found a powerful advocate in the religious reformer John Huss (Jan Hus). pilgrimages. the excessive veneration of saints. To reach the common people. political. Although the movement dates from the early 16th century. the Reformation completely altered the medieval way of life in Western Europe and initiated the era of modern history. The wars were a precursor of religious civil war in Germany in Luther's time.
y The effects of Reformation on English religion
. Earlier concordats with other national monarchies also prepared the way for the rise of autonomous national churches. In France in 1516 a concordat between the king and the pope placed the French church substantially under royal authority. and cultural elements. With the Renaissance that proceeded and the French Revolution that followed. and to exercise judicial authority. rather than Latin. striking at the sale of indulgences. and Praemunire in 1393. a violent expression of Bohemian nationalism.Reformation was great 16th-century religious revolution in the Christian church. which greatly reduced the power of the church to withdraw land from the control of the civil government. to make appointments to ecclesiastical offices.
The 14th-century English reformer John Wycliffe boldly attacked the papacy itself. popes and emperors had been engaged in a continuous contest for supremacy. Provisors in 1351. This conflict had generally resulted in victory for the papal side. the conditions that led to his revolutionary stand had existed for hundreds of years and had complex doctrinal. this antagonism was augmented in the 14th and 15th centuries by the further development of German nationalist sentiment.
. as a result of a decision by King Henry VIII to divorce his first wife. The pope upheld the validity of the dispensation and refused to annul the marriage. on the other hand. and France in two respects. had been allowed only by special dispensation from the pope. because the marriage had not produced a male heir and he feared disruption of his dynasty.The English revolt from Rome differed from the revolts in Germany. but retaliated in 1534 by having Parliament pass an act appointing the king and his successors supreme head of the Church of England. Indeed. to prevent the spread of Lutheranism. therefore. he secured from Parliament in 1539 the severe body of edicts called the Act of Six Articles. Henry was then excommunicated by the pope. Second. Zwingli and the German-Swiss
theologian Johannes Oecolampadius also considered his marriage null. Further legislation cut off the pope's English revenues and ended his political and religious authority in England. but Luther and Melanchthon thought it binding. Henry claimed that the papal dispensation contravened ecclesiastical law and that the marriage was therefore invalid. England was a compact nation with a strong central government. First. Henry VIII wished to divorce his Roman Catholic wife. Obedience to the papacy remained a criminal offense. Henry had no interest in going beyond these changes. the revolt was national²the king and Parliament acted together in transferring to the king the ecclesiastical jurisdiction previously exercised by the pope. which normally would have been illegal under ecclesiastical law because she was the widow of his brother. thus establishing an independent national Anglican church. which were motivated principally by political rather than doctrinal considerations. Henry then requested the opinion of noted reformers and the faculties of the great European universities. and two months later he had the archbishop of Canterbury pronounce his divorce from Catherine. he married Anne Boleyn in 1533. instead of splitting the country into regional factions or parties and ending in civil war. which made it heretical to deny the main theological tenets of medieval Roman Catholicism. and the change in religious doctrine came afterward in the reigns of King Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth I. Switzerland. His marriage to Catherine. Between 1536 and 1539 the monasteries were suppressed and their property seized by the king. in England. Consequently. Catherine of Aragón. the political break came first. in the continental countries agitation for religious reform among the people preceded and caused the political break with the papacy. ` Eight university faculties supported his claim. The king followed a course of expediency.
where their religious opinions often became more radical by contact with Calvinism. like his six wives. Henry VIII had six wives. to restore Roman Catholicism as the state religion. and continental reformers. Presbyterians. and Roman Catholics were often persecuted. A second Prayer Book was published in 1552. legs astride. Under King Edward VI. Henry ruled through powerful ministers who. but the episcopal organization and ritual of the Anglican Church is substantially the same as that of the Roman Catholic Church. and a new creed in 42 articles was adopted. In 1549 a complete vernacular Book of Common Prayer was issued to provide uniformity of service in the Anglican Church. and its use was enforced by law. fought numerous wars in Europe. Protestantism was restored. confiscated church lands. A final settlement was reached under Queen Elizabeth I in 1563. such as the German Martin Bucer. were invited to preach in England. Puritans.
y Henry VIII-the founder of the Church of England and the initiator of the Protestant Reformation in England
Henry VIII (1491-1547). the image of the Renaissance king as immortalized by German artist Hans Holbein. using Parliament to sanction his actions. This creed is Protestant and closer to Lutheranism than to Calvinism. The Act of Six Articles was repealed in 1547. exuding confidence and power.
. king of England (1509-1547). Others fled to continental countries. Separatists.Lutherans were burned as heretics. and even aspired to become Holy Roman Emperor in order to extend his control to Europe. Large numbers of people in Elizabeth's time did not consider the Church of England sufficiently reformed and non-Roman. and Quakers. The 42 articles of the Anglican creed adopted under Edward VI were reduced to the present Thirty-nine Articles. He rejected the authority of the pope and the Roman Catholic Church. Mary I attempted. and Roman Catholics who refused to recognize the ecclesiastical supremacy of the king were executed. They were known as dissenters or nonconformists and eventually formed or became members of numerous Calvinist sects such as the Brownists. however. and promoted religious reformers to power. were never safe in their positions. and during her reign many Protestants were burned at the stake. His greatest achievement was to initiate the Protestant Reformation in England. who painted him hands on hips. He ruthlessly increased the power of royal government. the Protestant doctrines and practices abhorred by Henry VIII were introduced into the Anglican Church.
Under King Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth.
y The Evangelical Revival-a deeper understanding of Christian responsibility
Since the 17th century.
5. Wales. the third largest Free Church in the United Kingdom. and local parishes. Henry's motive was to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragón rather than to reform church doctrine.2 million members (see Methodism). which were protested by Calvinist-influenced dissenters known as Puritans. arousing people
.The Anglican Church became the established church in England when Henry VIII assumed (1534) the ecclesiastical authority over the English church that had previously been exercised by the pope. the Anglican Church developed a distinctly Protestant creed that was set forth in the Thirty-nine Articles. and Scotland. The Methodist Church is the largest of these and has about 1. the Evangelical Revival infused a new sense of piety and of personal consecration into the popular religion of the established church. Anglican ritual and church organization nevertheless retained many of the forms of Roman Catholicism. and he imposed severe laws upholding the major tenets of medieval Catholicism. The Baptists and the Salvation Army are also grouped under Free Churches. The Catholic Church has many orders²groups of ordained men and women who follow special religious rules²and maintains an extensive school system out of public funds. and Ireland. One out of ten British citizens claims to be Roman Catholic. Free Presbyterian churches exist in England. Wales. successive movements have considerably broadened the Anglican church both spiritually and ecclesiastically. In the 18th century. was formed in 1972 when the Presbyterian Church of England merged with the Congregational Church in England and Wales. dioceses.000 members. The United Reformed Church. The Baptist Union of Great Britain has more than 152. A number of Protestant denominations are called Free Churches. in the past they were called Nonconformist or Dissenting churches. and there are also Baptist Unions in Scotland. Free Churches-a series of secessions from the Church of England
The Roman Catholic Church has an extensive formal structure in Britain made up of provinces. however.
and Christian service. This envelopment of divergent tendencies often has caused controversy and tension within the English church. formed by those Anglicans who fell between the Low Church and High Church parties. It included the British educator Thomas Arnold. worldwide Protestant movement dating from 1729.
y The British Methodism-a worldwide Protestant movement
Methodism. England. finding their piety and church practice akin to those generally characteristic of Protestantism. many of whom left the Church of England to become Methodists. religious education. During the 19th century. when a group of students at the University of Oxford. and the social and moral evils of the times.
.´ a derisive allusion to the methodical manner in which they performed the various practices that their sense of Christian duty and church ritual required. but many Anglicans believe that the comprehensive spirit with which the church holds together diverse points of view constitutes its genius. study. feared an excessive tendency toward the beliefs and practices of Roman Catholicism in this revival by High Church members (those preferring a closer adherence to sacraments and to Catholic liturgy). as does the very coexistence through the years of the Low Church and High Church tendencies. Furthermore. and for the meaning of its fundamental creeds. Despite this fear. transforming the face of the English church. began to assemble for worship. Low Church members. the movement enlarged the theological concern of the church for the ancient Catholic and apostolic character of the ministry and for the sacraments. Foremost in this movement was the work of John Wesley and his followers. for its pastoral ideals. among other prominent church members. The Broad Church movement was also in existence for some time in the late 19th century. the High Church Oxford movement prospered. Their fellow students named them the Holy Club and ³methodists. a movement was launched by a group of clerics at the University of Oxford for the purpose of recalling the Church of England to the Catholic elements in its spiritual heritage that had been preserved through the years of the Reformation.to a deeper understanding of Christian responsibility toward missions. That both the Low Church Evangelical Revival and the High Church Oxford movement could develop within the Church of England illustrates the breadth and flexibility of the Anglican tradition of faith and practice. It gave a new emphasis to the dignity and beauty of religious observances and to the central place of worship.
and in 1744 the first conference of Methodist workers was held. Methodist societies sprang up. Religious). which in 1932 joined with the Primitive Methodist and Wesleyan Methodist churches to bring the long chapter of Methodist disunity in Britain to an end. The theology of the Wesleys leaned heavily on Arminianism and rejected the Calvinist emphasis on predestination. especially among the poor (see Revivals. which meets every five years. the Methodist New Connexion. Soon after John Wesley's death in 1791. Wesley never renounced his ties with the Church of England. Each district is divided into circuits. generally 30 to 40 in
. circuit. Early in the 20th century in Britain. which some historians believe diverted England from political revolution in the late 18th century. considered the founder of Methodism. Together they brought about a spiritual revolution. Today the Methodist Church in the United Kingdom has the distinction of being the ³mother church´ of world Methodism. and society. The Bible Christians.Among the Oxford Group was John Wesley. and Charles wrote hymns. Below the Conference administratively is a church court for each district. for whom the formalism of the established Church of England had little appeal. each maintaining its own version of the Wesleyan tradition. During the 19th century many such separate Methodist denominations were formed in Britain and the United States. All church courts and committees derive their authority from the Conference and are responsible to it for the exercise of their appropriate functions. the separate Methodist bodies began to coalesce. Such meetings led to a revival of religious fervor throughout England. Conferences have been held at regular intervals since then. the sons of an Anglican rector. The governing body of the British Methodist Church is the Conference. prevented the Wesleys from speaking in parish churches. but he provided for the incorporation and legal continuation of the new movement. John Wesley's message as well as his personal activities among the poor encouraged a social consciousness that was retained by his followers and has become a hallmark of the Methodist tradition. consequently. and the United Methodist Free Churches united in 1907 to form the United Methodist Church. (see Calvinism). In 1881 an Ecumenical Methodist Conference was held to coordinate Methodist groups throughout the world. They are currently known as the World Methodist Conference. and his brother Charles. his followers began to divide into separate church bodies. Opposition by the English clergy. The centennial gathering was convened in Honolulu in July 1981. Preaching the doctrines of Christian perfection and personal salvation through faith. John Wesley quickly won an enthusiastic following among the English working classes. Geographic districts number 34. Methodist meetings were often conducted in open fields. John preached. however.
although the first Christian communities probably were established some decades earlier. On the other hand. containing the ancient creeds of undivided Christendom. Administration of the church is not only delegated to the lower courts but also to 13 connexional departments. The work of each department is carried on at the district. More specifically. Communication is thus maintained between the Conference and all the members. as well as generally to Holy Scriptures as interpreted by ³the Catholic Fathers and ancient bishops. it is the branch of the Christian church that. and society level by responsible committees.´ The Church of England differs from the Roman Catholic Church chiefly in denying the claims of the papacy both to jurisdiction over the church and to infallibility as promulgator of Christian doctrinal and moral truth.number. in the structure and tone of
. The Church of England differs from the Eastern Orthodox Church to a lesser degree. the number varying considerably. Three English bishops are known to have been present at the Council of Arles in 314. Each circuit is subdivided into local societies. Also. The earliest unquestioned historical evidence of an organized Christian church in England is found in the writings of such early Christian fathers as Tertullian and Origen in the first years of the 3rd century. although it was almost 20 years before the first women were ordained in 1994. and secondarily in the Thirty-nine Articles. the Church of England allows women to become priests. the Anglican church and its sister churches in the Anglican Communion differ from most Protestant churches in requiring episcopal ordination for all their clergy. Others attended the Council of Sardica in 347 and that of Ariminum in 360. The doctrine of the Church of England is found primarily in the Book of Common Prayer. In 1975 the General Synod of the Anglican Church found the ordination of women to be theologically unobjectionable. since the Reformation.
6. circuit. dating from the introduction of Christianity into that country. unlike the Roman Catholic Church. Religion in nowadays England
y The Church of England¶s Doctrine
Church of England or Anglican Church is the Christian church in England. and a number of references to the church in Roman Britain are found in the writings of 4th-century Christian fathers. which are interpreted in accordance with the prayer book. and in rejecting the distinctively Roman doctrines and discipline. By this means the Conference maintains control over the work of the various levels of the church. Appeal is made to the first four General Councils of the Christian Church. has been the established Church of England. The Conference also maintains missions around the world.
y Christian denominations
England guarantees its citizens religious freedom without interference from the state or the community. The Church of England has a baptized membership of about 27. church. and in a spiritual orientation in which a Catholic sacramental heritage is combined with the biblical and evangelical emphases that came through the Reformation. roughly two-thirds of the population of England. The only place this is still true in the United Kingdom is in Northern Ireland. is a Protestant Episcopal church. political agendas. Anglicans also speak of themselves as a catholic. largely descendants of Scottish and English settlers. or universal. The Church of England. once members of the Church of England. and campaign strongly for union with Ireland. The United Kingdom has two established churches: the Church of England and the Church of Scotland. Protestants. The Church in Wales and the Church of Ireland. the majority of the population in Britain does not regularly attend religious services. In the past religion was often deeply entwined with politics. a minority of around 40 percent. yet nearly all faiths have devoted congregations of active members. meaning it traces a direct line of bishops back to the 12 apostles of Jesus. Estimating membership is difficult because congregations count their members differently. with a lowercase c. where two communities use religious designations to express different. As in many European countries today. which are translations and revised versions of the pre-Reformation services of the church. The Church of England claims to be an apostolic church. also called the Anglican Church. An increasing percentage of the population professes no religious faith and some organizations represent secular outlooks.5 million. meaning that their beliefs are intended for humankind as a whole. are interested in maintaining their union with Britain. while Roman Catholics.their liturgical services. and government figures rely upon the numbers provided by the different groups. belong to the Anglican Communion but are not the official churches of their states. An established church is the legally recognized official church of the state. Since its
. which includes the Episcopal Church of the United States. and hostile. and most of the world's religions have followers in Britain. It is the parent body of churches belonging to the Anglican Communion.
a Protestant Episcopal denomination. but do not otherwise attend services. Unitarian. Muslims. and Society of Friends. and local parishes. The monarch appoints archbishops and bishops upon the advice of the prime minister. with practices that are more Protestant. with practices that favor Roman Catholicism. Baptist. married. More than a million people attend the Church of England on an average Sunday. This action caused many Anglican clerics and lay people to convert to Roman Catholicism. who consults a commission that includes both lay people and clergy. The Roman Catholic Church has an extensive formal structure in Britain made up of provinces. Two archbishops and 24 senior bishops sit in the House of Lords. One out of ten British citizens claims to be Roman Catholic. The denomination next in importance is the Roman Catholic Church. holds the titles of Supreme Governor of the Church of England and Defender of the Faith. the Anglican Church was involved in a serious controversy over the ordination of women. Among the numerous Protestant denominations are the Methodist. and Sikhs have immigrated to England since the 1950s. Congregationalist. dioceses. England also has thousands of Muslims and Jews. Large communities of Hindus. The British monarch. and Low Church. The Church of England. Many members are merely baptized. The Catholic
. which it finally allowed in 1992.4 million active churchgoers in Britain are Anglicans. In the last quarter of the 20th century. and buried in the church. About 20 percent of the estimated 8. and in 1994 the first women were ordained as priests in the Anglican Church. The history of the Church of England is marked by the division between High Church.inception in the 16th century. which has about 6 million members in England. another archbishop presides at York. who must be a member of the Anglican Church. and local parishes. the Church of England has debated how close its practices should be to those of the Roman Catholic Church. The archbishop of Canterbury holds the title of Primate of All England. A third of the marriages in Britain are performed in the Anglican Church. Changes in church ritual can only be made with the consent of Parliament. dioceses. The Catholic Church has many orders²groups of ordained men and women who follow special religious rules²and maintains an extensive school system out of public funds. is the state church and the nominal church of nearly three-fifths of the population.
Other Religious Groups
The Roman Catholic Church has an extensive formal structure in Britain made up of provinces.
Baptist. Newer religious movements and sects have also flourished in Britain. The United Reformed Church. Parish churches. and Ireland.000 Sikhs. and there are also Baptist Unions in Scotland.000 Hindus. 400. Quakers. Pentecostals.000 members. and Scotland.2 million members. A number of Protestant denominations are called Free Churches. with some 285. the third largest Free Church in the United Kingdom. Lutherans. Wales. tell the tale of some 1300 years of English history and social change. was formed in 1972 when the Presbyterian Church of England merged with the Congregational Church in England and Wales. or about 3 percent of the total population. Muslims. Wales. Britain has the second largest Jewish community in Western Europe. and Society of Friends. Cathedrals in England span only about 400 years of English history and cultural influence (with the exception of a very few modern cathedra). England also has thousands of Muslims and Jews. Christian Scientists.000 people. Unitarian.
.Church has many orders²groups of ordained men and women who follow special religious rules²and maintains an extensive school system out of public funds.
y From English Parish Churches to British Cathedrals
There are few sights that evoke "Englishness" more than that of a slumbering parish church.000 to 500. Jehovah's Witnesses. Large communities of Hindus. Christian Brethren. and Sikhs have immigrated to England since the 1950s. The Baptist Union of Great Britain has more than 152. There are also about 320. One out of ten British citizens claims to be Roman Catholic. Congregationalist. Eastern Orthodox.The Methodist Church is the largest of these and has about 1. in the past they were called Nonconformist or Dissenting churches. The Baptists and the Salvation Army are also grouped under Free Churches. Seventh-day Adventists. Among the numerous Protestant denominations are the Methodist.5 million to 2 million. and Mormons The fast-growing Muslim community numbers from 1. Other Christian religious groups include Unitarians. on the other hand. including the Church of Scientology and the Unification Church. Free Presbyterian churches exist in England. The humble parish church is an integral part of English social life and culture. and thousands of Jains and Buddhists.
and the nave "belonged" to the parishioners. not coincidentally. the east end of an English parish church could face west! The origin of the English parish is murky. also known as "old minsters" were daughter houses of the cathedral churches. "cathedral" churches. This helps explain the curious architecture of some early parish churches. taking advantage of people's existing devotion to a particular place. The term originally meant an administrative district. lay societies. and the nave of much cheaper flint. In theory at least. established by thegns. bishops. Cathedral churches were not cathedrals in the modern sense. side entrance (usually on the south side). Speaking of orientation. It is speculated by historians that parish boundaries were originally those of Saxon manors. the rising sun. facing Jerusalem. The thegn could install a priest of his own choosing. just with a Christian orientation. even dismantle the church if he saw fit! The chancel of the church was the domain of the priest. The basic architectural characteristics of the Saxon parish churches are: rectangular east end. where the chancel is built of carefully squared stone. and. The extent to which the church parish and the local lord's authority overlapped is apparent when you consider that before the Norman invasion one of the accepted ways of becoming a thegn was to build a church. Even if the altar end of the church is not literally in the east. Worship was carried on in the same place. but "mother churches" from which the first missionary priests went out to preach Christianity to the pagan inhabitants in a particular region. Churches. Churches were often located on pre-Christian sites of spiritual significance. change the priest at will. or even an association of parishioners. particularly in Norfolk and Suffolk. "collegiate" churches. and a west tower. it is called the "east end". what we would today call a diocese. or chapels (only later called "parish churches"). Each was responsible for the upkeep of their domain. Collegiate churches. a sort of second level regional missionary church. especially one with a tower (the tower was a defensive measure against the threat of Danish invaders). churches are nearly always oriented so that the main altar is at the east end of the church. and local churches/private chapels built by individual Anglo-Saxon thegns (lords). were generally private foundations.
. When the term "parish" was first applied to the church. it meant the territory of a bishop. At that time 3 distinct classes of churches were built.The oldest surviving parish churches in England date to about 670 AD (Brixworth and Escombe).
2 to 4 hours was not uncommon. needed to sit to listen. The Normans rebuilt many of the earlier Saxon churches.One point to remember is that there was no seating in churches at that time. complete with fanciful carvings. Good examples survive at Brixworth (Northants).000 years ago. and the Gothick Revival of mid-Victorian times. This meant that the church attendees. The Tudor era saw one important change. The preacher needed a lectern. so pews became standard in the naves. despite the triumph of the Roman church over the Celtic one.. Most of the pulpits you see in parish churches today date from the Tudor period. And by long. they were shaped like a cross. it was the Celtic model that became the norm for parish churches in England.e. such as Thirsk (Yorkshire). are like mini-cathedrals. a pulpit. it was not until much later that long sermons became popular (see below). Luckily. Medieval parish churches were usually plastered inside and out. and built to a cruciform plan (i. Northleach (Gloucestershire). with an eastern apse. western entrance. and Worth (Sussex). The most notable parish churches of the late medieval period are the so called "wool churches" common to the Cotswolds and East Anglia. Sadly. Vivid picture were painted on the interior plaster to illustrate Biblical scenes for the illiterate popluation. and Lavenham (Suffolk). Many of these magnificent buildings. These are churches endowed by the newly rich class of local merchants thriving on England's wool trade. and more often. the most prominent (architecturally speaking) being the Classical motif of the Stuart and Georgian period. so it requires a strong imagination to picture how the churches would have looked 1. Early Norman churches were aisles. and aisles. People attending a service stood in the nave. Far fewer churches were built from this point to the present day. Curiously. it was under the influence of Elizabeth I that preaching long sermons became popular. so the parishioners did not have to suffer long! The floor plan of southern Anglo-Saxon churches was based on the traditional Roman basilica. with a central tower. or like a small t). Statuary was also richly painted. no transepts. Wing (Bucks). in the process destroying much of the regional differences in favor of a more unified Norman "look".
. or later. So the pulpit was added to the nave also. The Tudor period saw the end of the great church-building era. elaborate ornamentation and funereal monuments inside the church. very little of the original plastering or painting remains today.
These crosses may have been put up at sites which were already regarded as sacred in pagan worship. When Christianity in England was young there were no parish or village churches. quite naturally. County Durham (c. 690) and the monastic buildings at Monkwearmouth and Jarrow. In Kent the best surviving churches are those of St. And those that are may be interesting to their parishioners but to few others. Later on. 675). and Bakewell (Derbyshire). where the Great Fire of 1666 destroyed most of the medieval churches (and gave a young architect named Christopher Wren quite an opportunity to evolve a new classical style of church). the Anglo-Saxon period was one beset by frequent warfare and violent invasions. Bradwell (c. Paul. Most parish churches are open to visitors. These invaders. and the introduction of more non-Christian religions into England there are few new parish churches built. Most notable here is London. Just drop some small change in the donation box by the door. These buildings betray their Celtic
.Most new parish churches were built in the ever-growing cities. Some of the finest crosses still to be seen are at Ilkley (West Yorkshire). Tyne and Wear (c. There are two regions where the earliest Saxon work is concentrated. churches were built at the same spots. in their search for plunder and martial glory. with a rounded chancel in the east and plain walls. and with the subsequent splintering of Christian sects. Many churches have placards or handouts giving details of the building history and pointing out its architectural features. burned and destroyed most of the settlements they came across. Gosforth and Irton (both in Cumbria). and St. In Northumbria the Celtic churches at Escomb. For this reason most surviving examples of Anglo-Saxon architecture date from either 600-725 or 900-1050. where the expanding urban population necessitated new parishes. 600). 660). Canterbury(c. preserving a continuity of worship. There is good reason for this scarcity. in the southeast around the county of Kent and in Northumbria. These small gems of living history give a much better sense of England and its culture than do the grandest cathedrals. England is not blessed with an abundance of surviving Anglo-Saxon buildings. These churches are heavily influenced by the Roman basilcan tradition.they can be chilly even on the warmest days). Instead. Peter-on-the-Wall. Many of these churches are now being looked after by the Redundant Churches Fund. particularly by the Vikings in the period 800-950. Some of the old churches that once served prosperous villages have fallen into disuse and been abandoned as population shifted. In the modern era there is more religious freedom. Just walk in (and dress warmly if you plan to do this a lot . carved crosses were erected at convenient sites for itinerant monks or priests to preach to the inhabitants. and they're usually free. Peter and St.
it was built re-using old Roman bricks. The pews in the body of the church. After the Synod of Whitby (664) swung the pendulum of power towards Roman Christian observance. showing that St Martin's is the official parish church of Buckingham Palace and St James's Palace. provide evening concerts. The church is home to the Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields and the famous choir of the same name. where it became the model for the 'Colonial' style of churchbuilding. dating from 1799. Like many Georgian churches St Martin's is galleried. with tall.
The first church built on this site in the 13th century stood 'in the fields' between the City and Westminster. the present church predates Trafalgar Square by a hundred years. the Henry Wood Chamber Orchestra and the St Martin-in-the-Fields Sinfonia. Designed by James Gibbs. The combination of steeple and portico was copied in England and in the United States. St Martin's prominent west front has a Corinthian portico. Set above the chancel arch are the royal arms and to the left of the altar is the royal pew. The ceiling is divided into gilded and painted plasterwork panels by Artari and Bagutti. and built in 1721 .676). as in the crypt at Hexham. The six columns of the portico are raised on a flight of steps above St Martin's Lane. publications and music. aisless naves and a rectangular chancel. George I was St Martin's churchwarden. at nearly 100 feet long Brixworth is large compared to other early Saxon churches. Facing the royal pew is an Admiralty pew. Since Dick Sheppard's time St Martin's has also gained a national and international role through its broadcasting. Before the square was laid out in the 1820s the church was hidden away in St Martin's Lane. Northamptonshire (c.26. with two tiers of windows. These and visiting orchestras. It is also unusual for its length. north of the road that leads from the Strand to Whitehall. Northumbria (674). Because the galleries are set well back the nave is wide and spacious. including the Penguin Café Orchestra. The interior is embellished with Venetian glass and Italian plasterwork. Interestingly. the northern churches took up the basilican plan. surmounted by a soaring steeple. In architectural terms St Martin's is one of the most influential churches ever built. One other early Saxon building of note is the church at Brixworth. were later cut down.
is the only circular church in London and one of only four round Norman naves still in use in England.58. a rare surviving example of a Norman round church. separated from the palace by Marlborough Gate. Today the Temple Church serves the lawyers of the Middle and Inner Temple. the Catholic wife of Charles I. Another highlight of the church is its 13th century penitent's cell. a chivalrous order founded here in 1118 to protect pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land.
Temple Church of St Mary The Temple Church of St Mary is a gem set amidst the lanes and courtyards of the Inner and Middle Temple. The church was modelled on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. this Early English chancel is an exceptional survivor in central London.ueen's Chapel This beautiful church was built by Inigo Jones in the 1620s for Queen Henrietta Maria. The church.
In 1761 George III married his queen.
. The Queen's Chapel was the first classical church in England. At first the chapel was intended to be part of St James's Palace but it now stands in the grounds of Marlborough House. Consecrated in 1240. lying on the floor. The name Temple derives from the Knights Templar. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (who was to bear him 15 children) in the Queen's Chapel. Its magnificent interior has exquisite 17th century fittings and a superb Caracci altarpiece. The eastern arm of the church was replaced in the 13th century by a longer aisled chancel. At the east end of the church is a stained glass in the east window created by Carl Edwards in 1957 . The round nave has a number of Purbeck marble effigies of lay supporters of the Knights Templar.
each major change in life is incorporated into the domain of the sacred. For example. birth rites might involve bestowing the blessings of the god on the child or giving the child a special religious name. solemn or festive.
The idea that sacredness is an individual experience and the idea that it is influenced by environmental factors are not necessarily in conflict. and followers of the mystical Dao (or Tao.Conclusions
Religious life reflects an individual¶s attempt to live in accordance with the precepts of a religious tradition. For example. In addition.
When religion is observed across many cultures. it can emphasize submission or liberation.
. mythic language and ritual serve as a focus for religious experience. it can be devotional or contemplative. Rites of entry into adulthood also connect the individual to the sacred tradition of the culture. Significant differences within those patterns are also evident. Christians strive to be Christ-like. hierarchical or egalitarian.
Religion in Life
Religious cultures generally ascribe spiritual significance to all parts of their worlds. these approaches offer a representative picture of the ways in which modern investigators have understood the place of the sacred in human life. certain common themes and patterns of activity appear. For example. it can encourage reliance on powers outside oneself or on personal responsibility. the Chinese term for the ultimate way of the universe) practice noninterference with the natural course of things. Buddhists imitate the Buddha. Considered together. it can involve fear or joy. it can be comforting or disruptive. The attempt to isolate the distinctive qualities of religion can be seen in the work of a number of influential thinkers. This is especially obvious in rites of passage. in which they take part in the Eucharist (a ceremony involving blessed bread and wine. Religious life is given distinctive form both by the power of a community¶s social bonds and its traditional objects of veneration. Religious experience also reflects the variety of cultural expressions in general: it can be formal or spontaneous. and by an individual¶s personal interaction with those objects. Christian youths participate in First Communion. Through ritual.
as a source of political control and divisiveness. Many religions have detailed rules of purity that bear on every aspect of behavior. which often results in the loss of stable community structure. or spiritual meaning. In addition.
Religion in the modern world
Modernity has posed acute challenges to traditional religions. many families are no longer able to maintain stable religious traditions because they are disconnected from traditional. and lifestyles.
. and government²can be given religious significance. supportive religions or as a result of mixed or nonreligious marriages. This is particularly true of a move from town to city. Another influence has been the loss of community and social commitment that has followed in the wake of increased mobility. ethical ideals. In this way. These challenges to religion are partly a result of the prestige of science. education. Frequent changes of location can result in a sense of impermanence or instability. the arts. In addition. and candidates for the priesthood were less numerous. the biblical stories of the Garden of Eden and the Deluge (universal flood) are common to other ancient Middle Eastern religions. In the 1960s membership in mainstream Christian denominations began to decline. religion is neither good nor bad but simply irrelevant. For example. The sciences describe a universe without reference to deities. as a confirmation of established patriarchal values. critical studies of biblical history have demonstrated that the Bible is not unique among ancient religious and historical documents. given the many alternative ways to find meaning in various forms of cultural pursuits. human relations.which represent the body and blood of Christ) for the first time. the soul.
All of life²including food. or as an emotional crutch. the religious reality is acknowledged to be the true and proper basis of all life. Other factors that have contributed to a decline in religious participation in the modern world include the presentation of religion as a prescientific form of superstitious thinking. sexuality and marriage. work. Social uprooting can lead to religious uprooting because religious affiliation is closely related to social ties. suffering. For a large number of people in modern societies. Weddings and funerals are two other ceremonies of passage laden with sacred meaning.
Many churches incorporate the latest kinds of support groups. others. techniques of meditation and self-improvement. religion has been kept alive as a result. Modern marketing techniques have been employed to increase membership. offers a different response to modernity. In many instances. and popular music.Despite all these factors. and some have developed religious functions for the Internet. Conservative movements. addressing virtually every conceivable type of spiritual need. in a world where home life has become less stable. counseling techniques. have acknowledged gender equality by ordaining women. Further. including fundamentalism. Against the secularism of the day. the power of alternative or spiritual forms of healing. Thousands of new religious movements emerged around the world in the 20th century. offering alternative forms of community to people otherwise removed from past associations and disenchanted with modern values. have gained vitality by protesting what they see as the conspicuous absence of moral values in secular society. the repositioning of conservative religion in direct opposition to secular values. In a sense. Although secularization has had its effects. in part. Many groups have benefited from the use of electronic media and networking. an international movement such as the
. religion has not disappeared. evangelical movements have succeeded in creating their own alternative cultures and have acquired considerable political influence. these new religions offer a large number of options. and the emergence of new religious movements that meet the specific and diverse spiritual needs of people in contemporary society. which have appeared internationally in every major religious tradition. modernity has created needs and problems for which new movements are able to present themselves as solutions. modernity has at the same time created new spiritual opportunities. Evangelicalism in its various forms. Collectively. including electronic prayer groups. In times of anxiety and uncertainty. and in many places it is thriving. of the adaptation of religion to secular values. Some offer ethnic revitalization. religion has been able to adapt to modernity by accommodating the diversity of contemporary culture.
For all its challenges to traditional religious identity. and have adopted outward characteristics of modern culture in general. such movements present scripture as a source of doctrinal certainty and of moral absolutes. Many religious traditions have broadened the concept of God to allow for the coexistence of various faiths. and still others.
Unification Church emphasizes the holiness and divine restoration of the institution of the family. which offers individuals the opportunity to reconnect with mystical dimensions of the self and thus with the wider cosmos²relationships that are typically obscured by secular culture and often are not addressed in biblical traditions. Currently. A quite different but also widespread form of spirituality is that of the socalled New Age Movement. one of the most rapidly growing religious movements is Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism¶s grass roots services provide direct. which takes its name from the festival day when the first Christian community felt the power of the Holy Spirit pour out on them. ecstatic spiritual experiences.
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