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Title: Community and commitment in the Church of England
Author: Revell, Lynn
ISNI:       0000 0003 7906 915X
Awarding Body: University of Kent at Canterbury
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis is a case study of two Church of England congregations in Kent. It describes and analyses the members' understanding of their commitment to the church and the relationships forged within it. Members of the church congregations were found to be unwilling to participate in evangelism and were uncertain about sharing their commitment with either friends, family or a future generation. The most active core members of the church did not hold any shared religious or moral belief to be an essential aspect of their commitment to the church. Instead they celebrated diversity and difference within their own church and within the church more generally. The thesis examines the nature of the congregations' religious commitment in the light of the decline of mainstream religion and the growth of New Age spirituality. It places the congregations' understanding of community in the context both of the classical understanding of community and the contemporary debate between communitarianism and liberalism. The thesis argues that the members of the two congregations held in common a clear understanding of the importance of community. Moreover core members defined their community in terms of belonging rather than of a particular shared set of beliefs. The thesis concludes that although members use traditional language to describe the nature of their community, those communities have little in common with those imagined by classical sociology, and members' commitment to the two churches could be characterised as an entirely contemporary expression of religiosity.
Supervisor: Furedi, Frank Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: B Philosophy (General) ; BL Religion ; HM Sociology