Women, identity and religion in Wales: a conversation in practical theology

James, Manon Ceridwen (2015). Women, identity and religion in Wales: a conversation in practical theology. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This study within Practical Theology explores the nature of the relationship between women’s identity and religion in Wales, using qualitative and literary methods and in particular poetry as a form of theological reflection.

The thesis is structured as a theological ‘critical conversation’. Dialogue partners include Western feminist theologians and their claim that women find it difficult to assert an authentic self and also sociological and historical texts looking at religion, women and identity in Wales. Christianity has played a significant part in Welsh identity construction, particularly in creating a repressive self-image for Welsh women for political reasons.

Women’s current perspectives were investigated through life-story interviews, memoirs and the poetry of Menna Elfyn. My own poetry also makes a significant contribution to the reflexive insights within this project, and is an innovative aspect of my methodology. Unlike the representation of women as silent and disempowered within Western feminist theology, Welsh women are resilient and have an empowering and operative stereotype, the Welsh Mam – Strong Woman. Welsh women are at a key stage of constructing a new identity, disconnected from religion and other restrictive influences of the past. I end with a call for the churches in Wales to attend to issues of stratification, stigmatisation, repression and power in order to facilitate the flourishing of women as well as be more effective in their mission.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/6195


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