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Title: The distinctive relationship between sexual ecstasy and spiritual ecstasy for heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered clergy of the Church of England : integrating transpersonal awareness with an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Smith, S.
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2018
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Twenty-two participants who identified as heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered clergy of the Church of England were recruited and interviewed using a semi-structured interview. The methodology employed incorporated Transpersonal Awareness with an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. After several levels of analysis the following superordinate themes emerged: (a) twenty of these participants organised their sexuality and spirituality in a dialectical or unified relationship; (b) twelve of these reported a direct mystical union with God through the veil of sexual ecstasy; (c) all twelve reported that these experiences have been transformative leading to an expanded and inclusive sense of self and other, which has also enhanced their ministry; (d) rituals and symbols that reflect the distinctive relationship between sex and spirit are needed to reflect and confirm heterosexual and LGBT participants' lived experiences; and, (e) the House of Bishops of the Church of England continues to place spirituality and sexuality in a dualistic relationship, relegating the latter into the shadows of human experience, causing a deep sense of rejection and oppression for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered clergy who faithfully serve as priests within the Church of England.
Supervisor: Lancaster, L. ; McIlroy, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: BF Psychology ; BR Christianity ; HM Sociology