Catholic Disaffiliation in Britain: A Quantitative Overview

Bullivant, Stephen (2016) Catholic Disaffiliation in Britain: A Quantitative Overview.

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Official URL: 10.1080/13537903.2016.1152664


This article presents a quantitative assessment of Catholic disaffiliates—those who were brought up Catholic, but who now no longer identify as such—in contemporary Britain. Using British Social Attitudes data, it seeks to: 1) gauge the overall extent of Catholic disaffiliation and its significance relative to the retention/disaffiliation rates of other major Christian groupings; 2) identify patterns in the changing rates of Catholic retention/disaffiliation over the course of the twentieth century; 3) analyse Catholic disaffiliation in terms of key demographic variables (sex and age); 4) compare the current religious beliefs and prayer practices of different groups of Catholic disaffiliates and retainees. As will be argued throughout this article, in-depth study of Catholic disaffiliates sheds important new light on the sociology of Catholicism in modern Britain. Furthermore, it contributes to ongoing discussions of secularisation, precisely as a case study of change over time within a significant religious minority.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: 282 Roman Catholic Church, 301 Sociology & anthropology
Members: St Mary's University
Depositing User: ULCC Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2016 12:52
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2016 12:52

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