Alexander Forbes of Brechin: The First Tractarian Bishop

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Clarendon Press, 1995 - 281 страници
Alexander Forbes, Bishop of Brechin from 1847 to 1875, was the first adherent of the Oxford Movement to become a bishop. A leading example to many Tractarians and Anglo-Catholics in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and in the Church of England, he also became well known to various Roman Catholics in Europe for his work for Catholic reunion in the 1860s. As bishop, and also incumbent of the Scottish Episcopalian congregation in the newly industrialized Dundee, Forbes developed a Tractarian slum ministry unique among Anglican bishops in Britain. It was the influence of the Oxford Movement during the early 1840s that shaped Forbes's social commitment towards the labouring poor, coupled with his inherited Tory paternalism. The Movement also imparted to Forbes a strong belief in the importance of dogmatic theology, as a remedy for the Church against the religious doubt and secularism of the mid-Victorian period. In 1857, the Tractarian dogmatics of his teaching initiated the Eucharistic controversy within the Episcopal Church and seriously divided Episcopalian High Churchmen and the Tractarians led by Forbes. In 1860 he was tried for heresy. Although censured, he continued to work for the defence of Scottish traditions in his Church, and for Anglican-Roman Catholic reunion. By the time of his untimely death in 1875, Forbes's place as a leader and example to many sympathizers of the Oxford Movement in Scotland and England was cemented.

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Rowan Strong is a St George Lecturer in Ecclesiastical History for the Perth College of Divinity at Murdoch University, Perth.