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The community of intimacy: The spiritual beliefs and religious practices of adolescent quakers

Best, Simon Peter John (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis is a sociological study of the current generation of adolescent Quakers. It examines and analyses their beliefs and values; individual and group practice and how the group functions. The research demonstrates that for the adolescent Quaker group belief is unimportant and non-definitional; values are broad and open to individual interpretation, although key shared values have an optional influence on behaviour. Involvement in Quaker activity is extensive, corporate worship is central and internal discipline is strong. I argue that the adolescent Quaker group represents a ‘Community of Intimacy’, a collective grouping which places emphasis on belonging, inter-personal networks secured by friendships, shared values, expression though individual and corporate behaviour, and the separateness of the group from other Quakers and other adolescents. This concept can be related to other groups and represents an original contribution to existing scholarship, providing a new way of describing groups and explaining how they function. The research illustrates that while both the adult and adolescent Quaker groups have sect-like characteristics the sectarian nature of the groups is differently configured. I argue that the failure of the adult group to acknowledge the adolescent group as separate and different results in its cultural, institutional and theological marginalisation.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Dandelion, Pink
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Theology and Religion
Subjects:BT Doctrinal Theology
BX Christian Denominations
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1250
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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