Exploring Anglican Identity
So what does "Anglican" mean? We all know it's a Christian tradition, but beyond that? How would you define it?
Here's a series of videos featuring Archbishop Phillip Aspinall as he explores Anglican identity. We've edited a 45 minute speech into 5 segments, each with discussion questions. Archbishop Phillip does an excellent job of identifying who Anglicans are and how we came to be, suggesting strengths and the challenges we face. Following each video are discussion questions for a small group or confirmation class, or just to ponder on your own.
You could even use these once per week at morning tea after church or before parish council. There are many possibilities! If used with a group, consider posing the first question before you watch the video (if it feels appropriate) and then follow your viewing with the others.
Scroll down to see the videos or use the links below to head to one directly
1. Exploring Anglican Identity: Anglicans before Henry VIII?
a. How would you explain/define Anglicanism to someone?
b. What stands out /surprises you most about this Anglican pre-history?
c. How does this information make a difference to your concept of Anglican identity?
2. Exploring Anglican Identity: Reformation - Tradition & Order
a. Make a ranked list of five words that describe Anglicanism. Did “traditional” appear? How high up?
b. What strengths (or otherwise) do you see in the emphasis on tradition and order in Anglicanism?
c. How do you see this emphasis expressed in the life of your Anglican context? (Parish/School/Agency/etc)
3. Exploring Anglican Identity: The Scriptural Emphasis
a. Placed in a hierarchy, scripture often comes first before tradition and reason. Explain how that makes sense (or otherwise) to you.
b. How do you see the emphasis on scripture expressed in the life of your Anglican context? (Parish/School/Agency/etc)
c. What does the APBA (A Prayer Book for Australia) mean to you?
d. How would you describe the role that scripture plays in your life?
4. Exploring Anglican Identity: Reason & Experience
a. Why is reason a crucial element for Anglicanism?
b. How do you see the Anglican idea of reason & experience expressed in the life of your Anglican context? (Parish/School/Agency/etc)
c. In this section, Archbishop Phillip discusses “an openness to advancing knowledge and truth...including intellectual, artistic, scientific and intuitive apprehensions”. What issues do you detect or expect making themselves known in the next few years in this regard?
5. Exploring Anglican Identity: The Middle Way
a. What strengths (or otherwise) flow from the Anglican via media approach?
b. How do you see this “inclusive balancing approach” to faith expressed in the life of your Anglican context? (Parish/School/Agency/etc)
c. Archbishop Phillip uses the image of an atom or Solar System in balance to describe the via media. What are some other appropriate analogies?