This unit explores historical and contemporary attempts to define Anglican identity. The first part of the unit examines foundational Anglican texts (the Book of Common Prayer, the Ordinal and the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion), their origins in the Reformation, and their use and interpretation in subsequent centuries. The second part of the unit investigates the creation and ongoing evolution of local, national and global structures of Anglicanism, with particular attention to synodical governance and the role of bishops, clergy and laity in decision-making processes. Students will investigate how changes in areas such as liturgy, authority and theology can be initiated, realised or resisted within Anglican polity.

Unit Code: CH9100T

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Church History

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning Outcomes


Articulate a sophisticated understanding of structures of authority within the Anglican Communion and within its constituent churches


Explain the contested nature of Anglican identity with reference to the Book of Common Prayer, the Ordinal or the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion


Illustrate how history, law and theology have shaped Anglicanism


Critically evaluate processes and mechanisms by which change occurs or is prevented from occurring within Anglican theology, governance and culture.


Demonstrate skills in historical research.

Unit sequence:

15 points of Church History & 15 points in Field D


Lecture/seminars with provision for tutorials in some weeks


Description Weight (%)

Document exercise of 1,000 words


Research essay of 3,500 words


Take-home exam of 1,500 words


Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 23 Oct, 2014

Unit Record last updated: 2019-03-28 13:53:43 +1100