Church going as a social process: A study of three Methodist churches in the Edinburgh and and Forth Methodist circuit

Hill, Michael John (1989) Church going as a social process: A study of three Methodist churches in the Edinburgh and and Forth Methodist circuit. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis explores some of the reasons why people attend one of three churches in the Edinburgh and Forth Circuit of the Methodist Church. It is an attempt to follow the life histories of a group of participants from their earliest recollections of ever being in a church through to the present day and to examine why they continued to go to church at various significant stages within their own life cycles.

The point of departure for the Thesis is a practical concern about why people chose to be associated with one particular church building and congregation and when, how and why they reassess previous decisions and actions. Existing approaches to this problem are examined with particular emphasis on two Scottish research projects.

The current debate about the theory of secularization is examined with reference to the contribution of Wilson, Luckmann, Berger and Martin. Secularization is an area of socio-religious concern which impinges upon any notion of the significance of church going within a life style and life cycle.

The organisation of the Methodist Church is described inorder to outline the hierarchical structure of the church and to explain the meaning and significance of the range of offices within that structure.

The thesis briefly traces the development of the Methodist Church within the specific Scottish context and describes in some detail the late nineteenth and twentieth century life of the three churches which the participants attend.

The life style and life cycle experiences of the eighty three participants who contributed to this study is told through their own words using the broad headings of Childhood, Adulthood and Old Age as a simple method of grouping together and comparing the separate life stories.

In the following chapter I investigate the possibility of constructing a theoretical process model of church going. The life histories of the participants are examined in relation to such a model. The following chapter explores some of the applications of such a process model.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Eldridge, Professor John
Date of Award: 1989
Depositing User: Mrs Marie Cairney
Unique ID: glathesis:1989-74369
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2019 16:00
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2019 16:00

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