The Attitudes of Asian Anglicans towards Women Bishops and the Gender Beliefs that Influence Them

A Pilot Study in Singapore

In: International Journal of Asian Christianity
S. J. Ying Teoh Independent Researcher, Singapore

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P.K. Low Associate Professor, James Cook University Singapore, Singapore

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Regarding the ordination of women to higher spiritual leadership positions in the Anglican Church, existing studies have tended to focus on attitudes and perceptions in non-Asian countries and regions, thereby affecting the generalisability of their results to Asian countries such as Singapore. Working to close this gap, a small exploratory study using semi-structured interviews was conducted in Singapore. Eight Anglican parishioners were interviewed, and the transcripts were treated with thematic analysis. Overall, the findings suggest a seeming disconnect between attitudes towards gender equality in secular and faith-based workplaces, implying a social contextual influence on the transferability of an individual’s gender-equal attitudes across secular and religious spheres. Some participants sought to manage this disconnect through the conditional support of female bishops, hinged upon them remaining subject to higher male leadership.

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