What is distinctive about Anglican spirituality at its best?
What are the strengths and limitations?
In the first instance, Anglican spirituality is less pure and perfect than that of Christian (Eastern) Orthodoxy.
The Orthodox ideal is monastic, meditative, mystical - they aim at the highest levels of spirituality - ascetic Holy Fathers, Saints and Elders.
The 'typical' Orthodox Saint is a person of extreme holiness.
The Roman (Western) Catholic tradition also aims higher than Anglicanism.
Rather than a specifically monastic and ascetic ideal, the focus is on the Pope, priests and a variety of religious orders.
Although there are ascetic Western Saints, typical Saints since the Great Schism are more likely to be great leaders, scholars or altruists.
The Church of England has not made and does not officially recognize new Saints; and perhaps has not itself produced any Saints except for (early) Martyrs.
Instead, the height of Anglican spirituality has been literary.
The greatest Anglicans in spiritual terms have been great writers, have expressed their spirituality perhaps most in their writings.
This is a limitation; but it is also a strength - because in a corrupt society words may remain available long after higher spiritual traditions have been cut-off.
To understand the core of Anglican spirituality entails, therefore, reading, reading-out and listening to words.
(The loss of awareness of this fact - the literary nature of Anglican spirituality, that words are its essence - has been therefore, perhaps more than anything, responsible for the spiritual decline of the Church of England. When words are at the heart of a spirituality, and then these words are casually and frequently altered, that spirituality loses its cohesion, its strength, its gravitational-pull: breaks-apart.)
To learn Anglican theology one could not do much better - perhaps - than read and meditate upon the Anglican liturgy: the services of the Book of Common Prayer (in its original language, naturally).
In them is superficial appeal of course - literary beauty; but more importantly great profundity of doctrine, great balance and subtlety of distinction - a lifetime's worth.