Liberal Anglo-Catholicism

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The terms liberal Anglo-Catholicism and liberal Anglo-Catholic (also Liberal Catholic) refer to people, beliefs and practices within Anglicanism that affirm liberal Christian perspectives while maintaining the traditions culturally associated with Anglo-Catholicism. The word "liberal" in this context refers to both theological and social liberalism.

Social and theological liberalism[edit]

The social liberalism of liberal Anglo-Catholics can be seen in an association with Christian Socialism.[1] With regard to Christian Socialism, Frederick Denison Maurice in 1849 said, "I seriously believe that Christianity is the only foundation of Socialism, and that a true Socialism is the necessary result of a sound Christianity."[2]

Generally, liberal Anglo-Catholics will be social justice-minded.[citation needed] Jonathan Daniels, a seminarian of the Episcopal Church in the United States who died during the African-American civil rights movement, is a modern martyr for liberal Anglo-Catholics.

Liberal Anglo-Catholics allow the entirety of modern knowledge and research to inform their use of reason.[citation needed] Science and religion, for instance, are held to be legitimate and different methodologies of revealing God's truth.[3] This also directly affects the liberal Anglo-Catholic's reading of scripture, church history and general methodology of theology. A metaphor is that theology for liberal Anglo-Catholics is a "dance" that allows people to slowly grow in an understanding of God.[4]

In the UK the Affirming Catholicism movement is a home to many liberal Anglican Catholics. Westcott House, Cambridge is a Church of England theological college in the tradition of Liberal Anglo-Catholicism.


  1. ^ Socialism and Christianity, by Percy Dalmer, London, the Fabian Society, 1906.
  2. ^ Maurice, F. D., The Tracts on Christian Socialism, London 1849.
  3. ^ Muray, Leslie A., Liberal Protestantism and Religion, Greenwood, New York, 2007
  4. ^ Johnson, Jay Emerson. Dancing with God: Anglican Christianity and the Practice of Hope. Moorehouse Publishing. New York. 2005.