Confirmation was an important part of the life of the eighteenth-century church which consumed a significant part of the time of bishops, of clergy in their preparation of candidates, and of the candidates themselves in terms of a transition in their Christian life. Yet it has been almost entirely overlooked by scholars. This book aims to fill this void in our understanding, and offers an important contribution and correction of our understanding of the life of the church during the long eighteenth century in both Britain and North America. Tovey addresses two important historical debates: the 'pessimist/optimist' debate on the character and condition of the Church of England in the eighteenth century; and the debate on the 're-enchantment' of the eighteenth century which challenges the secular nature of society in the age of the Enlightenment. Drawing on new developments of the study of visitation returns and episcopal life and on primary research in historical records, Anglican Confirmation goes behind the traditional Tractarian interpretations to uncover the understanding and confidence of the eighteenth-century church in the rite of confirmation. The book will be of interest to eighteenth-century church historians, theologians and liturgists alike.
About the Author
Revd Dr Phillip Tovey has been teaching theology for the Diocese of Oxford in their training programmes for 10 years and also teaches at Ripon College Cuddesdon. His interest in the Anglican Communion is informed by being a part of the Inter Anglican Liturgical Consultation for the past 20 years.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Theologies of confirmation; Liturgy of confirmation; Confirmation sermons in the Church of England; The practice in England; Case studies in England; Anglicanism overseas: the United States and Canada; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.