New wine, old wineskins: is a shortage of priests re-shaping catholic identity in Australia?

Ryan, Regina Patricia (2012) New wine, old wineskins: is a shortage of priests re-shaping catholic identity in Australia? [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Abstract

The Catholic Church globally is facing a declining number of priests, whose remaining numbers are ageing and for whom there are insufficient seminarians to provide replacements. This thesis seeks to examine the consequence of this situation for Catholic identity in the context of the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba in regional Australia. Such circumstances necessitate new forms of day-to-day leadership in parish faith-communities, especially an increasing reliance upon laypeople to fulfil roles once the domain of clergy. In examining this phenomenon, this thesis draws together anthropological discourse on identity and theological insights into the particular importance of Catholicism’s ordained ministers in an anthropology of theology. In doing so, the liminality of the diocese’s parishioners and their experiences of communitas are identified and examined. Applying the analytical framework of the emerging anthropology of theology to the findings of fifteen months of ethnographic fieldwork, this work addresses the question ‘Is a shortage of priests re-shaping Catholic identity in Australia?’ concluding that this phenomenon is re-shaping the identity of Toowoomba’s Catholics


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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - No Department
Supervisors: Lamb, Lara; Lee, Chris
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2013 04:50
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2016 01:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: catholic church; priests; catholic identity; catholic diocese; toowoomba; clergy; declining numbers
Fields of Research : 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220402 Comparative Religious Studies
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2299 Other Philosophy and Religious Studies > 229999 Philosophy and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/23395

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