First published in 1977, Clergy, Ministers and Priests provides the first sociological analysis to have been undertaken in this country of the differences in value orientation between clergy in the Church of England, ministers in the Methodist Church and priests in the Roman Catholic Church. Five important areas of values are covered: theological outlook, views on the role of the religious functionary, attitudes towards ecumenism, views on institutional reform, and ideas about the organisational nature of the church. Going beyond the description, the authors examine various explanations for the existence of these differences. First, they consider the interplay of the values themselves. A second approach deals with structural factors related to the denomination such as the social role played by the clergy. Finally, non-denominational social experience is considered, including class origins and the educational background of the clergy. This study will be of interest to scholars and researchers of sociology of religion, religion, and Christianity.
Table of Contents
Preface 1. Introduction 2. Positions, experience, origins 3. Beliefs 4. Definitions of role 5. Ecumenism 6. Reform 7. The organisational context 8. Conclusions Epilogue Appendix 1 Sample and methods Appendix 2 The Priest and the church Bibliography Index
Stewart Ranson, Alan Bryman, and Bob Hinings