Re-framing Religious Identity and Belief: Gen X Women and the Catholic Church
Keywords:Catholic Church, Generation X, women and religion, feminist theology, Church membership
AbstractGen X women grew up in the Catholic Church in the climate of culturaland theological change brought about by the Second Vatican Council.Given the Catholic Church’s attempt to move into the modern world, itmight be expected that such changes would result in an increase of participationby women in the Church. In fact, the opposite has happened andthe participation of Gen X Catholic women in Church life is at substantiallylow levels. This article reviews the current research in this area, and seeksto contextualise the experiences of Gen X women in the broader socialchanges that have characterised late modernity. It contends that currentmethods of examining the religious identity of Gen X Catholic women failto understand the complexity of reasons for non-participation. Shifting theresearch focus beyond a simple model of church participation will shedimportant light on the sociology of Catholicism and religious identity inAustralia.
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