From Chaos to Equilibrium
In 1558 Mary was succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth. During Elizabeth’s reign the Church of England moved from chaos to equilibrium, a religious and political state of affairs called the Elizabethan Settlement. The primary theological apologist (defender) of the Anglican “middle way was Richard Hooker (1554-1600). Elizabeth rejected both papal authority and the more radical forms of Protestantism (called Puritanism in England). In 1559 Parliament authorized a third Book of Common Prayer which marked a return to the more “catholic” worship of the 1549 Prayer Book. In 1563 the Thirty-nine Articles were promulgated establishing the doctrinal foundations of the Church of England in contradistinction to the Roman Catholic Church and the more radical Protestant churches. These articles (doctrinal theses) can be found in the back of the present Book of Common Prayer (1979) on p. 867.
The Church of England produced a fourth Book of Common Prayer in 1662; it remains in official use today.