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An Anatomy of Change: Profiling Cohort Difference in Beliefs and Attitudes among Anglicans in England

  • Andrew Village and Leslie J. Francis

Abstract

Conservatism in theological belief, moral values and attitude toward ecclesiastical practices was measured in a sample of 5967 ordained and lay Anglicans in the Church of England. Average scores were compared between those who classed themselves as Anglo-catholic, broad church or evangelical, and by six different age cohorts. Overall, most measures of conservatism showed decline among more recent cohorts, but there were marked differences between traditions. Younger evangelicals showed little or no decline in theological or moral conservatism, and, in the case of Bible beliefs, were more conservative than their older counterparts. In ecclesiastical variables, however, Anglo-catholics were often more conservative and younger evangelicals showed less conservatism than other traditions or older evangelicals. The findings suggest that the divide between traditions is increasing among younger generations mainly because those in Anglo-catholic and broad-church traditions are becoming more liberal on theological or moral matters, whereas evangelicals are maintaining traditional conservative views of theology and morality but becoming less traditional in matters ecclesiastical.

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1.

Department of Theology and Religious Studies, York St John University, York, United Kingdom.

2.

Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom.

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References

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1. Department of Theology and Religious Studies, York St John University, York, United Kingdom.

2. Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom.

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