Cranmer's Via Media Analysis

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Many identify the via media between Catholicism and Protestantism with the Anglican church. This is what they are best recognized for today – beautiful cathedrals, weekly communion, kneeling during prayer, a set lectionary, and a Protestant theology of justification through faith. It does not negatively or positively affect the current position of the church to acknowledge Cranmer’s negative opinion about the papacy or the Anabaptists. Even Cranmer would have likely admitted that, after several centuries of progress, change, and increase in knowledge, the church would have to adapt. During the time of Cranmer, to break from the papacy likely meant instituting Anabaptist, Lutheran, or Calvinist reform. Cranmer supported England’s break from the papacy, but he could not support taking the church in a completely Lutheran direction and he certainly did not support taking it in the direction of the Anabaptists. His best option, therefore, was to place the church under the headship of a wise Christian King who could use Parliament to support a unified Protestant church.…show more content…
Typically, the “middle way” is identified with Martin Bucer, Richard Hooker, or an individual’s personal concept of a via media. Diarmaid MacCulloh writes the most on Cranmer’s via media and how it is different from that of the current Anglican church. However, even MacCulloh only addresses the topic across a handful of pages. What these great academics have researched, instead, is how Cranmer’s beliefs, theologies, and reforms culminated in the creation of his liturgies and how these liturgies affected the Church of England through
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