AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

Crossing the Streams: Sources of Anglican Confirmation

by Brian Robert Dawson

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 0
Keywords: confirmation; anglican; Cranmer; confirmation origins; bohemian brethren; Church of England; christian initiation
Record ID: 1311847
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5021


Why is there so much confusion around confirmation? Articles, books, essays and lecture notes abound on the topic of confirmation. Where does it come from? What does it mean? What is its purpose? Why do we bother? For Anglicans these questions have been bubbling up for the past century, but they really gained focus following the introduction of direct admission to communion for baptised but unconfirmed children in the early 1970s. This removal of confirmation as the gateway to the eucharist threw into sharp contrast the lack of clarity around its meaning and purpose. As the numbers of confirmands plummeted the calls for a renewal of the rite became stronger, but what precisely is it that might be renewed? The purpose of this thesis is to explore the two separate sources of confirmation and the ways in which Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the architect of the first Anglican Prayer Books, brought them together to create a rite that might cater for the different factions of the church of his day. In this work we show that the result of this merger was that much of the confusion surrounding confirmation in the present day has been there from the beginning.