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Title: Clergy attitudes to 'folk-religion' in the Diocese of Bath and Wells
Author: Walker, Philip Geoffrey
ISNI:       0000 0001 3555 8539
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2000
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The concept of 'folk-religion' has functioned as both a mission interface, and as a clerical category of self-absolution in the face of secularisation and marginalisation. The attitudes that clergy bring to'folk-religion', its beliefs and praxis and the effects of longitudinal change within the religious Zeitgeist, are the main concern of this study. Data on clergy attitudes to 'folk-religion' from the 1988-1990 Rural Church Project (RCP) provide an empirical basis for replication and extension of the RCP questions on 'f olkreligion' to the Diocese of Bath & Wells. The latter takes the form of sixtyone in depth semi-structured interviews, together with a small sub-sample of Anglican and other mainstream clergy working in Glastonbury. Chapter One critiques the RCP, introduces the concept of 'folk-religion', and proposes a descriptive attitudinal taxonomy, the strong-negative - non-differentiator continuum. This both defines the range of clergy attitudes to 'folk-religion' and provides a heuristic model which, in conjunction with a quantitative instrument (the Clergy Attitude Scale) is elaborated in Part Two when the Somerset data are subjected to in-depth analysis. The latter is approached through the concept of differential-reflexivity. The attitudinal pattern to emerge is contained within a nexus of psychological, sociological, and theological constructs. Earlier models linking clergy attitudes to 'folk-religion' to churchmanship are modified, as is the understanding of the function of 'folk-religion' as a clerical category of selfabsolution. Chapter Six considers evidence of longitudinal changes in both the meanings and representations of 'folk-religion' as they impact upon clergy attitudes and pastoral praxis. Chapter Seven discusses the impact which the leitmotif of Glastonbury has upon the meanings of contemporary representations of the sacred. Chapter Eight suggests that the key underlying theological attitudinal signifier is to be found within the different ways in which a soteriological meta-narrative is implicitly used by the clergy in the formation of attitudes to 'folk-religion'. The way in which the study extends knowledge, its significance for missiological modelling, and further research possibilities are discussed in Chapter Nine
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Self-absolution ; Mission ; Anglican ; Pastoral