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Title: The dialectic of belonging : resistances and subversions of women priests in the Church of England
Author: Jagger, Sharon
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
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The aim of this research is to understand how women belong in the priesthood in the Church of England, a vocation that has traditionally been exclusively male. The first female priests were introduced in 1994 after a long and divisive campaign. The Act of Synod that legislated for women's ordination created the institutional mechanism allowing parishes to reject the priestly ministry of women and seek oversight from bishops who only ordained men (Furlong, 1998). Given this structural separation of women clergy from parts of the Church, my research asks how sex and gender differentiation in the priesthood impacts upon women's belonging, institutionally and symbolically. I explore the stories of 26 women priests from several feminist theoretical perspectives to identify how they experience the institutional discourses that shape their status and place in the priesthood. I examine how women priests negotiate relationships with male clergy who oppose female priesthood, how female bodies fit the cultural and symbolic environment of the priesthood, and how the feminine is expressed in the language of the priesthood (Spender, 1985). Using the lens of feminist phenomenology (Young, 1990), and the tools provided by Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough, 2001), I analyse the everyday experiences of women priests to reveal how they resist and subvert institutional and cultural discourses and establish their own ways belonging, setting up a dialectic between belonging as object and belonging as subject.
Supervisor: Kaloski-Naylor, Ann Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available