Anglican ethical perspectives share similarities with Protestant and Catholic approaches, but they also have a particular character of their own. Anglican ethical tradition also draws on several central Christian beliefs held in common with Catholic theology.
The roots of Anglican ethics begin in a belief that God's divine order is established in Jesus Christ and his teachings. This provides the belief that Christian identity and action go beyond an individual's faithfulness and personal relationship with God. To live a full, faithful life, an individual should apply the principle "love one another as I have loved you" to every aspect of their lives.
The Anglican perspective on Christian ethics was influenced greatly by theologian Richard Hooker. Hooker wrote Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity at the end of the sixteenth century in response to challenge from the Roman Catholic and Puritan churches.
His work sought to demonstrate theological reasons for the Anglican Teachings and Law, and point out ways that the Anglican way was consistent with the true intentions of the early Christian church.
Hooker believed there was a problem in taking the Bible as the only source for Christian belief. He gave that the Bible was not meant to stand alone in a Christian faith community.
He believed the scriptures were to be interpreted through human reason, so that people could make sense of the world by comparing information from various sources - the scriptures, prior knowledge, and personal experiences. He also deemed that there were certain matters and predicaments that Christians face in the constantly changing society that were not dealt with in the scriptures. In order to determine a 'Christian' response, humans are required to use their own sense of reason to apply the...