What is the shared sensibility of Anglicanism?

In Anglican Identities, Rowan Williams writes about “the lives and the ideas (and the prayers) of some of those who, for various reasons, are recognized as in some way credible representatives of Anglicanism over the centuries,” individuals such as William Tyndale, Richard Hooker, George Herbert, and Michael Ramsey. If there is a shared sensibility among these writers, it may be called “passionate patience.” This sensibility is not uniquely Anglican, but it is decidedly Anglican – and one of the reasons I find myself more and more at home in this tradition. Williams writes:

The writers discussed here in their different ways are apologists for a theologically informed and spiritually sustained patience. They do not expect human words to solve their problems rapidly, they do not expect the Bible to yield up its treasures overnight, they do not look for the triumphant march of an ecclesiastical institution. They know that as Christians they live among immensities of meaning, live in the wake of a divine action which defies summary explanation. They take it for granted that the believer is always learning, moving in and out of speech and silence in a continuous wonder and a continuous turning inside-out of mind and feeling (p. 7).


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