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Roman Catholic Beliefs in England
Customary Catholicism and Transformations of Religious Authority

$31.99 (C)

  • Date Published: January 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521093279

$ 31.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Michael Hornsby-Smith examines the religious transformations that have occurred among English Catholics since the Second Vatican Council of 1962-65. He explores the meanings English Catholics attach to being Roman Catholic and to Catholic beliefs over a range of concerns from doctrinal matters to questions of personal and social morality. He also examines the legitimacy accorded by English Catholics to both papal authority and religious authority in general. This study is based on a wealth of interviews with members of the Catholic Church. From his evidence, Michael Hornsby-Smith convincingly demonstrates that although beliefs and practices are derived from "official religion," English Catholics have gradually withdrawn legitimacy from the clerical leadership, particularly in the area of personal morality. He concludes by reflecting on the implications of this secularization of English Catholicism.

    Reviews & endorsements

    "...this remains a valuable study containing much to interest sociologists of religion on both sides of the Atlantic." Contemporary Sociology

    "This book stands alongside Roman Catholics in England as a milestone in the academic study of modern Catholicism. It is required reading for those who hope to understand the religious climate in England during the second half of this century." Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521093279
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.36kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction:
    1. From identity to commitment
    2. Varieties of Catholic accounts
    Part II. The Religious Beliefs of English Catholics:
    3. The everyday loves of lay Catholics
    4. The religion of core laity
    5. The customary religion of ordinary Catholics
    Part III. Transformations of Religious Authority:
    6. The pope's paradoxical people
    7. Core Catholics, conflict and contestation
    8. Ordinary Catholics and personal morality
    9. English Catholics and religious authority
    Part IV. Conclusions:
    10. Religious pluralism and secularisation

  • Author

    Michael P. Hornsby-Smith, University of Surrey

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