Doctrine Commission (Church of England)

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During the twentieth century, the Church of England periodically established a doctrine commission to report on an important theological question. The first commission "was appointed in 1922 and reported in 1938".[1] In early years the commissions appear to have been appointed solely by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. In recent years the doctrine commission was constituted as a sub-commission of the General Synod.[2] However, the members of the doctrine commission continued to be nominated by the Archbishops.[3] In the early 1980s the House of Bishops took a greater interest in the work of the doctrine commission and the report We Believe in God (1987) was published "under its authority".[4] This practice continued for the next three reports. After the completion of Being Human (2002) no further doctrine commission was nominated. In 2010 General Synod established a new permanent Faith and Order Commission of the General Synod which took over responsibility for producing theological reports for the House of Bishops.[5]

Doctrine Commission Reports[edit]

  • Being Human (2002)
  • The Mystery of Salvation (1995)
  • We Believe in the Holy Spirit (1989)
  • We Believe in God (1985)
  • Christian Believing (1976)
  • Prayer and the Departed (1971)
  • Subscription and Assent to the Thirty-Nine Articles (1968)
  • Doctrine in the Church of England (1938)


Doctrine Commission Publications[edit]

  • Contemporary Doctrine Classics. Church House Publishing, 2005.

above reprints We Believe in God (1987), We Believe in the Holy Spirit (1991) and The Mystery of Salvation (1995)

  • Being Human: A Christian understanding of personhood illustrated with reference to power, money, sex and time. Church House Publishing, 2003.
  • The Mystery of Salvation. Church House Publishing, 1995.
  • We Believe in the Holy Spirit. Church House Publishing, 1991.
  • We Believe in God. Church House Publishing, 1987.
  • Believing in the Church: The Corporate Nature of Faith. SPCK, 1981. [Essay collection]
  • Christian believing: The nature of the Christian faith and its expression in Holy Scripture and creeds. SPCK, 1976. [Report and essays]
  • Thinking about the Eucharist. SPCK, 1972. [Essay collection]
  • Prayer and the Departed. SPCK, 1971.
  • Subscription and Assent to the Thirty-Nine Articles. SPCK, 1968.
  • Doctrine in the Church of England. SPCK, 1938. Reprinted by SPCK, 1982.

Doctrine in the Church today[edit]

Since 2010 the Faith and Order Commission of the General Synod - which acts as a 'theological resource for the church as a whole' - has taken over the role played previously by the doctrine commission.[6] Following the resignation of Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury in 2012 the English theologian John Milbank called for the foundation of an international doctrine commission.[7] This body would be designed to serve the entire Anglican communion and would mirror the Catholic International Theological Commission which was founded in 1969.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sykes, S. "Foreword" in Contemporary Doctrine Classics (Church House Publishing, 2005): xv.
  2. ^ Sykes, "Foreword", xv.
  3. ^ Sykes, "Foreword", xv.
  4. ^ Archbishop Runcie prefatory comment reprinted in Contemporary Doctrine Classics (Church House Publishing, 2005): 2.
  5. ^ General Synod Paper GS 1782 (Summer 2010)
  6. ^ The Faith and Order Commission website. Last accessed 28 Sep 2013
  7. ^ John Milbank, "After Rowan: The Coherence and Future of Anglicanism" ABC Religion and Ethics (4 Apr 2012). Last accessed 28 Sep 2013

External links[edit]