musings

Words of the Week #7

Hi everyone!

How are we all?

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This week’s word isn’t actually one that I’ve read this week; my friend Holly (who is an incredibly talented artist, by the way – check out her work) mentioned it when we were talking about these ‘words of the week’ posts and it’s been stuck in my head since. The word is:

Disestablishmentarianism

A word of so many parts – try saying it three times really fast!

When I looked it up, the dictionary definition was as I’d deduced from the presence of the ‘arianism’ ending:

Advocacy of disestablishment

Rather than just leave it there, I thought I’d look closer at when and why this word had originated.

It seems that it refers to campaigns attempting to sever the intertwining of Church and State. This was particularly prevalent in Ireland and the United Kingdom during the 18th and 19th centuries, when the Anglican church came under scrutiny. Ireland being a predominantly Roman Catholic society meant that support for the wealthy clergy of the ‘Church of Ireland’ was always going to be slim, so disestablishment was successful.

In England, it was a different story. The campaign to disestablish the Church from the State was both religiously and politically motivated. Lots of built momentum for the campaigns faded when, among other reforms, bishops who were more liberal could be appointed. In the 20th century, it was the Church who argued for disestablishment after Parliament interfered with the production of a book of worship. There have been continued campaigns but most leaders of the United Kingdom have expressed support of the unity of the two ‘authorities’.

So there we have it: the meanings and history behind a word that’s like a tongue twister all by itself. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed learning about it.

 

What have you all been reading this week?

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