Robert E. Rodes
Robert Rodes examines the legal materials—cases, statutes, canons, and measures—used in the English experience of updating the medieval synthesis of church and state.
The volume begins with the restoration of the monarch (and the Anglican Church) in 1660. In the first chapter, Rodes describes the relatively peaceful century and a half—from the Restoration to the reform agitation of the early nineteenth century—when the spiritual condition of the nation was more closely reflected in the institutional patterns of the church than it had ever been before or ever would be again. The next two chapters detail the painful juridical adjustments that had to be made when the old synthesis finally came unstuck and the church had to take its place among the other institutions of a modern, efficient, and pluralist state. The last chapters show the equally painful and far more tumultuous adjustments of the laws governing the church’s doctrine, liturgy, and internal affairs to accompany its changed position in society.
In addition to examining legal materials, Rodes analyses the anomaly of having an “established” church in a pluralist society, and deals with the dialectical tension between two ecclesiological emphases he calls “Erastianism” and “High churchmanship.” Using the English example, he also sets forth some thoughts on how a church-state relation should be structured.
“The strength of this work is the author’s mastery of a vast and varied literature and his ability to present a synthesis that spans the era studied. This study is, in a sense, a readable manual of the ecclesiastical administration of the Church of England. While the book is primarily for scholars and those interested in Anglican and Church History studies, others interested in constitutional and political dimensions of the period from the 1660 Restoration to the present must come to terms with the material covered in this work. . . . The comprehensiveness of this study and the insight of the author make this book a valuable resource.” — Church HIstory
“The work will be a valuable source of reference for those seeking the legal bases of the Church during the last three centuries.” — Ecclesiastical History
“Rodes has made an extremely difficult sugject both interesting and relatively comprehensible. At points—particularly in his conclusion—he can even be moving. He makes good use of original sources, providing examples to illustrate the legal points that he has made. One does not have to have a specific interest in canon law to appreciate this work. It is an excellent resource for those with a general interest in English religion of the seventeenth to twentieth century.” — Journal of Church and State
“This volume should be prescribed reading for all those interested in ecclesiastical law or the history of the Church. [Rodes’s] handling of the ritual and doctrine cases is masterly.” — Theology
“Based on cases, statutes, canons, and measures, Rodes describes the evolution of the Church of England and church-state relations in England since 1660. He traces the adjustments of the church’s laws governing doctrine, liturgy, and internal affairs that accompanied its changing position in a modern pluralist state. He analyzes the anomaly of having an ‘established’ church in a pluralist society.” — Law and Social Inquiry