Anglicanism, in its structures, theology, and forms of worship, is commonly understood as a distinct Christian tradition representing a middle ground between what are perceived to be the extremes of the claims of 16th century Roman Catholicism and the Calvinism of that era and its contemporary offshoots, and as such, is often referred to as being a middle way between these traditions.

Basic Beliefs:

The Anglican Church does not have a central authority; however, church doctrine is followed by consensus and not by mandate.

The doctrinal centralization is based on a concept and organization called the Anglican Communion, of which a church either is a member or is not. There is a set of beliefs, and if a church holds those beliefs and meets certain other requirements, it is welcome to be in the Anglican Communion. A set of beliefs called the Thirty-Nine Articles played a significant role in the formation of Anglican doctrine and practice. Today, the articles are no longer binding but still remain influential Anglican identity.