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Title: Managing lives : The Embodiment of priesthood in Church of England Clergy
Author: Peyton, Nigel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 9955
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2009
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How are contemporary clergy managing their lives? This research explores, in depth, Church of England clergy experiences in the early 21 st century to interpret their enduring vocational commitment to the priesthood. The project resonates with the revived interest by Government and researchers about the place of faith in a secular and multi-cultural British society, including the continuing role of religious professionals within the context of an increasingly marginalized Church. The research is located at the interface of practical theology, social science and critical management. Existing literature about the ordained is characterized either by peer encouragement to resist the secularizing tide or a pastoral concern to discover why some clergy become dysfunctional or leave their ministries, despite evidence that clergy report significant job satisfaction and rarely quit. What has been missing is an empirical study asking clergy what they think about contemporary vocational prospects within the Church. This research therefore is based on 46 qualitative interviews with parish clergy in 42 English dioceses: priests who are 'middle manager' ArealRural Deans with broad experience of ordained ministry. Whilst not wholly representative the experiences reported are relevant to the wider Church of England clergy population facing similar challenges. The findings are related to theoretical frameworks on embodiment, professional identity and the governmentality of vocational bodies and souls at work. Clergy household life is related to the literature on gender, sexuality and marriage, family practices and work - home balance. The findings suggest that clergy remain confident, striving for priestly authenticity and ascribing an ontological, abiding character to priesthood. Faithful to their ordination promises, self-disciplined and resistant to ecclesiastical managerialism, the clergy embrace the sacrificial self with a pragmatic agency, accepting an erosion of privacy and intimate relationships and the accumulative opportunity cost of ordination. They believe, belong and are 'becoming priests' across a lifetime.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available