The authority of church and party among London Anglo-Catholics, 1880-1914, with special reference to the Church Crisis, 1898-1904
Anglo-Catholicism was the major occasion of strife within the Church of England, 1880-1914. Between 1898 and 1904 Protestant agitators made their last serious attempt to invent laws to put down ritualism. This thesis describes that church crisis, as London Anglo- Catholics experienced it. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which the authorities tried to establish control over ritualists, and to the different reactions to the crisis within the Catholic party. Anglo-Catholic ecclesiology was not so much a dogmatic package as a theological method - the application of an organic church principle to all doctrine and practice. Anglo-Catholics used a distinctive hermeneutic, taken over from Pusey and Bishop Forbes, to neutralize offensive aspects of the thirty-nine articles and Prayer Book. Pressure from their bishops before and during the crisis stimulated distinctive doctrines of episcopacy and magisterium among them. Against all opposition, they continued to postulate a special affinity between the churches of England and Rome, secured by a particlar concept of holiness. Radical Anglo-Catholics who came to the fore in the church crisis turned the concept that the Church of England was but two provinces of the Catholic church from a passive assumption into the basis of a radical critique of other Anglican doctrine and practice. They responded to being under pressure in two kinds of way. Some sought security in formally reactionary postures which they hoped would make their position impregnable. Others saw the crisis as an opportunity for all involved to re-think their perceptions of their own positions and of the nature of authority. Although Anglo-Catholics did not always face up to the ecclesiological implications of their behaviour, they did manage to defend and define their approach between 1880 and 1914 well enough for it to make a major impact upon the twentieth century Church of England.