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Title: Ritual and narrative in the contemporary Anglican wedding
Author: Farrimond, Sarah Lucy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2683 7503
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2009
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Contemporary wedding ritual is a little-explored area of both the Christian theology and the English social reality of marriage. As persistently important rituals in contemporary England, weddings are of great interest in any attempt to describe and account for the place of ritual in contemporary life. As events which are simultaneously acts of Christian worship, efficacious legal ceremonies and popular cultural rites, Anglican weddings bring into focus numerous issues about the inter-relation of social and religious institutions and experiences, theological responses to contemporary culture, material culture and the defining and mapping of personal relationships. The central part of the research consists of a close, empirical study of weddings in the Church of England. This includes semi-structured interviews with marrying couples and officiating clergy, and observation of weddings and wedding rehearsals. This research was conducted within one deanery in West Yorkshire in 2006 and 2007. Theories of ritual, including rites of passage, and of performance are critically employed to examine the structure and function of wedding ritual, and the way in which specifically Christian ritual is incorporated into and informs a more complex ritual whole. Narrative, an increasingly important interpretative concept in both theology and the social sciences, is also employed as an analytical tool to examine both the way individuals make sense of their own experiences and actions. In addition to a detailed account of contemporary practice, weddings are shown to offer important insights into pastoral and liturgical practice and the ministerial identity of clergy. Moreover, weddings are revealed as vital events in contemporary social life, consolidating and displaying the socially embedded identity of marrying couples.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available