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Title: Fishing for souls : faith and community in a Moray fishing village
Author: Burchill, Carolyn
ISNI:       0000 0001 3509 2935
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis presents an ethnographic study of religion and community in Gamrie, a fishing village in North East Scotland. It is based on fieldwork consisting of extended, unstructured interviews with supplementary material from written sources including books, press reports and internet sites. It addresses both the continued success of the church in the current climate of religious decline and the conditions which led to the formation of a fundamentalist Northern Ireland church in the village. My contention is that the persistence of religion is directly related both to the type of religion and the nature of the community. I maintain that the churches are successful because they adopt a strong theological stance, through which they resist the advance of secularism. Further, I argue that in this community, religion plays a role in the construction of social identity. The first part of the thesis provides an historical account of religion in Gamrie. Subsequently, I examine the main events in Scottish church history which have had a bearing on religion in the village along with a history of the churches currently in existence, before looking at the churches today. Finally, I discuss theories of religion and community and propose a theoretical framework within which the questions posed in this thesis may be answered. My discussion deals principally with secularization theories which argue that religion is incompatible with modern society and analyses the features of Protestantism which render it prone to schism. Later, I examine theories of social identity and community, focusing on the relationship between boundary maintenance and the construction of social identity and distinguishing between the concept of tradition and the process of social change. I contend that evangelical churches constitute an "imagined" community of interest, which provided networks that facilitated the affiliation of a religious group in Gamrie with a Northern Ireland Church.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available