Fishers of men: an exploration of the identity negotations of gay male Anglican clergy

Keenan, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-2052-8462, 2006. Fishers of men: an exploration of the identity negotations of gay male Anglican clergy. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The lives of gay clergy have been the focus of much public talk in recent times. Following the nomination of Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading, and the confirmation of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, the Anglican communion has entered a period of intense debate concerning the acceptability of gay clergy which threatens to break the ties which bind the communion. Gay clergy whether 'out' or 'closeted', celibate or 'active' stand as public representatives of the institutional Church in their community, while at the same time not being fully accepted or affirmed as individuals by the Church they represent. Further to this, as representatives of the Church in community the clergy are constrained by the duties and obligations they have to their parish, and the expectations of their parishioners.

The thesis explores the narratives of a number of gay male clergymen in the Church of England collected through a combination of questionnaire, interview and diary methods. The thesis focuses on issues of identity creation, management and presentation in order to illustrate the need for negotiation, and the situated nature of identity. In doing so the thesis explores how within the narratives of the respondents the influence of individualised, detraditionalized understandings of religion and sexuality can be seen, though these are constrained by expectations acting upon the clergy from Church and congregation. Therefore negotiations occur not only between aspects of identity, but also between duty and choice. In exploring these negotiations the thesis accesses the work of Goffman, Giddens and Plummer and takes forward an understanding of identity as situated and fluid, but also requiring stability and continuation to enable the individual to locate and connect. The thesis explores this ongoing negotiation, and illustrates how late modern individuals continue to be required to face up to the interplay of tradition and innovation in the creation, presentation and management of the identity stories - specifically stories of Christian, gay and Clerical identity.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Keenan, M.
Date: 2006
ISBN: 9781369324624
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 16 Jun 2021 15:55
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2023 14:56

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