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Portal:Anglicanism

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A map showing the provinces of the Anglican Communion (blue). Also shown are the churches in full communion with the Anglicans: The churches of the Porvoo Communion (green) and the Union of Utrecht (red)

Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that evolved out of the practices, liturgy and identity of the Church of England following the Protestant Reformation.

Adherents of Anglicanism are called "Anglicans". The majority of Anglicans are members of national or regional ecclesiastical provinces of the international Anglican Communion, which forms the third-largest Christian communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. They are in full communion with the See of Canterbury, and thus the Archbishop of Canterbury, whom the communion refers to as its primus inter pares (Latin, "first among equals"). He calls the decennial Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of primates, and the Anglican Consultative Council.[not in citation given] Some churches that are not part of the Anglican Communion also consider themselves Anglican, including those that are part of the Continuing Anglican movement and Anglican realignment.

Anglicans base their Christian faith on the Bible, traditions of the apostolic Church, apostolic succession ("historic episcopate"), and writings of the Church Fathers. Anglicanism forms one of the branches of Western Christianity, having definitively declared its independence from the Holy See at the time of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. Many of the new Anglican formularies of the mid-16th century corresponded closely to those of contemporary Protestantism. These reforms in the Church of England were understood by one of those most responsible for them, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, as navigating a middle way between two of the emerging Protestant traditions, namely Lutheranism and Calvinism.

In the first half of the 17th century, the Church of England and its associated Church of Ireland were presented by some Anglican divines as comprising a distinct Christian tradition, with theologies, structures, and forms of worship representing a different kind of middle way, or via media, between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism – a perspective that came to be highly influential in later theories of Anglican identity and expressed in the description of Anglicanism as "Catholic and Reformed". The degree of distinction between Protestant and Catholic tendencies within the Anglican tradition is routinely a matter of debate both within specific Anglican churches and throughout the Anglican Communion. Unique to Anglicanism is the Book of Common Prayer, the collection of services that worshippers in most Anglican churches have used for centuries, and is thus acknowledged as one of the ties that bind the Anglican Communion together.

After the American Revolution, Anglican congregations in the United States and British North America (which would later form the basis for the modern country of Canada) were each reconstituted into autonomous churches with their own bishops and self-governing structures; these were known as the American Episcopal Church and the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada. Through the expansion of the British Empire and the activity of Christian missions, this model was adopted as the model for many newly formed churches, especially in Africa, Australasia, and Asia-Pacific. In the 19th century, the term Anglicanism was coined to describe the common religious tradition of these churches; as also that of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which, though originating earlier within the Church of Scotland, had come to be recognised as sharing this common identity.

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Print of the Priestley Riots
The Priestley Riots took place from 14 to 17 July 1791 in Birmingham, England; their main targets were religious Dissenters, most notably the religious and political controversialist, Joseph Priestley. Driven by anger over the Dissenters' attempts to gain full civil rights and their support of the French revolution, the rioters attacked or burned four Dissenting chapels, twenty-seven houses and several businesses. While the riots were not initiated by William Pitt's administration, the national government was slow to respond to the Dissenters' pleas for help and overjoyed at their plight. Local Birmingham officials seem to have been involved in the planning of the riots and were reluctant to prosecute any ringleaders after they ended.

The riots revealed that the Anglican gentlemen of the town were not averse to using violence against Dissenters who they viewed as potential revolutionaries. They had no qualms, either, about raising a potentially uncontrollable mob. Many of those attacked left Birmingham; as a result, the town became noticeably more conservative after the riots. The remaining supporters of the French revolution decided not to hold a dinner celebrating Bastille Day the following year.

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Bishop Robinson in 2006, during the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church
V. Gene Robinson (born (1947-05-29)May 29, 1947) is the ninth bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Robinson was elected bishop in 2003 and entered office on March 7, 2004. Before becoming bishop, he served as assistant to the retiring New Hampshire bishop. Robinson is widely known for being the first openly gay, noncelibate priest to be ordained to the historical episcopate. Robinson's appointment prompted a group of 19 bishops, led by Bishop Robert Duncan of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, to make a statement warning the church of a possible schism between The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, stated that "[it] will inevitably have a significant impact on the Anglican Communion throughout the world and it is too early to say what the result of that will be." He added: "[I]t is my hope that the church in America and the rest of the Anglican Communion will have the opportunity to consider this development before significant and irrevocable decisions are made in response." Since Robinson's election, theologically conservative parishes have aligned themselves with bishops outside The Episcopal Church, a movement called the Anglican realignment. His story has appeared in print and film.

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