Erastianism, the doctrine that the State should have supremacy over the Church in ecclesiastical matters, has almost
always been a bone of contention at the heart of the Church of England. From the time of the Emperor Constantine,
with his wish to oversee the doctrine of the newly enfranchised Christian Church through the deliberations of the
Council of Nicaea, to the decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to determine Church doctrine,
history has been full of conflict between Church and State.
The author explores many aspects of Erastianism that have beset the Church of England during the last fifteen centuries. Readers will meet with famous characters from history such as William the Conqueror, King John and King Henry VIII, but also less well-known individuals like Bishops Robert Grosseteste and Benjamin Hoadly.
With the comment in 2006 by political spin-doctor Alastair Campbell that, ‘We don’t do God’, it might be thought that Erastianism was no longer significant, but political pressures are still brought to bear on the Church. The author concludes with the comment that we are certainly not at the end of the Erastian debate.