We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Towards an Anglican theology of Laity

Ferns, Stephen Antony Dunbar (1993) Towards an Anglican theology of Laity. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis undertakes two tasks. Firstly, it traces the development of an understanding of the role of the laity within the Church of England from 1530 until 1985. Secondly, in the light of the historical data it attempts to posit a theology of laity which would be sustainable within the Church of England. It will be shown that the Church of England has been operating two ecclesiological models: one which allows for the development of a strong theology of the laity, the other which allows for the development of a strong theology of holy orders (which has historically displaced the laity). At particular periods in its history the Church of England has witnessed the ascendancy of one or other of these models. This thesis will attempt to explain the reasons for these shifts in ecclesiological emphasis. From the historical analysis it will be argued that three significant issues arise which are pertinent to a theology of the laity: the worldly vocation of the laity and its relation to mission; the authority of the laity and its relation to decision-making within the Church; and the inter-relation between the laity and the ordained. Each of these issues will be explored as a basis for constructing a contemporary theology of laity. The thesis will also be concerned to acknowledge those restraints which have been operating within Anglicanism to constrict the smooth development of the laity. Chief among them is the professional reaction of the clerical profession. This thesis will in its advocacy of a sustainable theology of laity attempt to examine and overcome those restraints.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1993
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 10:57

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter