This entry defines both Anglican and Anglicanism and continues with a brief account of the latter as a distinctive theology within Christianity. It then describes the nature and development of the Church of England, before turning to the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The word Anglican originates in the expression ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase meaning “the English Church.” Anglicans are adherents of Anglicanism (a much later term), which refers to a distinctive tradition within the Christian church. The mother church of Anglicanism is the Church of England; worldwide, Anglicans are those in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Anglicanism, as expressed in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion, is both “catholic” and “reformed”—meaning that it combines continuity with the Catholic tradition (the creeds and a ...

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