The history of the Episcopal Church and Anglicanism in the United States begins with the arrival of English colonists in the new world, obviously. However, Anglicanism was not the only tradition to come with colonial settlers. New England, for instance, was dominated by Puritans who had fled from England in pursuit of a place to live out their vision of the Church.
The story begins with the first English settlments in the New World. The 1559 Prayer Book was used on American soil in the Roanoke colony which was later deserted The arrival of Anglicanism is usually dated at the foundation of the Jamestown colony in 1607. Important things in England were happening contemporaneously with the establishment of Anglicanism in the American colonies. First, the 1604 Book of Common Prayer had just been published a few years before the arrival of English colonists. Secondly, the King James Bible or Authorized Version was in the works at this time. Third, the internal strife in the Church of England were polarizing and simmering for a rapid boil later in the 17th century.
The majority of English colonists were not members of the Church of England but Noncomformists or Puritans. However, the Church was established in some of the colonies, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, although in Georgia and North Carolina, that status meant next to nothing for Anglicanism nearly died out there. The areas where the Church was established tended to be low church while in areas where Anglican presence was small tended to be high church, especially in the Puritan-dominated New England. To read more, click here.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
The American High Church Tradition (Part One, 1607-1833)
Posted by Robin G. Jordan at 8:09 AM