Re-framing religious identity and belief: Gen X women and the Catholic Church
Contributor(s)The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Education & Arts, School of Humanities and Social Science
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AbstractGen X women grew up in the Catholic Church in the climate of cultural and theological change brought about by the Second Vatican Council. Given the Catholic Church's attempt to move into the modern world, it might be expected that such changes would result in an increase of participation by women in the Church. In fact, the opposite has happened and the participation of Gen X Catholic women in Church life is at substantially low levels. This article reviews the current research in this area, and seeks to contextualise the experiences of Gen X women in the broader social changes that have characterised late modernity. It contends that current methods of examining the religious identity of Gen X Catholic women fail to understand the complexity of reasons for non-participation. Shifting the research focus beyond a simple model of church participation will shed important light on the sociology of Catholicism and religious identity in Australia.