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Title: Religious belonging in a changing Catholic Church : the need for an alternative model?
Author: Dann, Graham M. S.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3404 3648
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1975
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Since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has undergone radical transformation in all dimensions of religiosity : in belief, ethical consequences of belief, practice, religious experience and religious belonging. This research concentrates on the last of these five dimensions, as, it is claimed, this subsumes the remaining four. Demonstration is required to show not only that the Catholic Church has changed in its attitude towards religious belonging, but also to highlight how and why religious belonging itself has changed. Such demonstration will be forthcoming at two levels : theoretical and empirical, dividing the thesis into two major sections. In the theoretical section, it will be suggested that religious belonging has changed in the Catholic Church from a uniform organisational model to a pluriform model. The latter allows a selection of four types of religious belonging : the total institution, the family, the closed community and the open network, formed by the Parsonian variables of particularism, universalism, ascription and achievement. Why such a pluriform model has come into being is explained in terms of motivation and (dis)satisfaction. The empirical testing of hypotheses, generated from the theoretical section, concentrates on an international congregation of missionary sisters as its subject. It is argued that a cross-cultural study within the Catholic sisterhood, not only enables the sociologist to examine change in religious belonging, but that sisters are sufficiently representative to permit tentative generalisation to other groups of Catholic Church membership. It is maintained that change in religions belonging can be partially explained by the following simplified model: inner motivation → satisfaction → family belonging/closed community belonging; outer motivation → dissatisfaction → open network belonging.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available