A Small Marker in the History of Western Religions

A Small Marker in the History of Western Religions February 20, 2013


The boy king Edward VI was crowned on this day in 1547. For those of us interested in Western religion this is a momentous occasion. His father Henry VIII had broken from the Roman church, principally to re-marry. But, he had originally been raised to be a bishop and was in fact theologically sophisticated, and his reformation church was pretty much Catholicism sans pope. With Edward VI being only nine years old, ecclesiastical authority fell to his “advisers,” lurching the church sharply in a Calvinist direction. After the boy’s short reign there would be another lurch back toward Catholicism, and finally under Elizabeth’s comprehensive settlement we would be gifted with Anglicanism, the Via Media, or Middle Way. Not to be confused with the Middle Way of the Buddha, but, still, a stretching toward something that would, I think, despite an almost endless litany of shortcomings (it is, let’s be clear as much a human project as divine & I would add in the end there is no difference…) become lovely and sustaining thing for many, shelter for the birds of heaven…

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