Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lytton Strachey on Anglicanism

I recently read Strachey's essay on Mandell Creighton, Bishop of London. I sighed often.  Anglicanism has changed since he wrote that essay in 1925. Indeed that was the time that it first began to swing to the liberalism that characterizes the bulk of white Anglicans today.  Yet Anglicanism hasn't changed in its tendancies to address the secular more than the spiritual.  I was struck especially by this line in Strachey's essay:

Anglicanism has never produced - never could produce - a St. Teresa.  The characteristic great men of the institution - Whitgift, Hooker, Laud, Butler, Jowett - have always been remarkable for virtues of a more secular kind: those of scholarship or of administrative energy.

I suppose this explains Rowan Williams.

I left Anglicanism for Orthodoxy, a tradition rich in humble saints, many of them ascetical in their lifestyles.  This was an aspect of the Roman Catholic Church that I loved, but it is even more prominent in Orthodoxy.

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