No Popery’s Ghost

Does Popular Anti-Catholicism Survive in Contemporary Britain?

in Journal of Religion in Europe
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Anti-Catholicism has been a feature of British history from the Reformation, but it has been little studied for the period since the Second World War, and rarely using quantitative methods. A thematically-arranged aggregate analysis of around 180 opinion polls among representative samples of adults since the 1950s offers insights into developing attitudes of the British public to Catholics and the Catholic Church. Anti-Catholicism against individual Catholics is found to have diminished. Negativity toward the Catholic Church and its leadership has increased, especially since the Millennium. Generic and specific explanations are offered for these trends, within the context of other manifestations of religious prejudice and other religious changes.

No Popery’s Ghost

Does Popular Anti-Catholicism Survive in Contemporary Britain?

in Journal of Religion in Europe

Sections

References

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  • 2

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  • 4

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  • 5

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  • 8

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  • 9

    Steve BruceNo Pope of Rome: Anti-Catholicism in Modern Scotland (Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing1985); Tom Gallagher Glasgow: The Uneasy Peace: Religious Tension in Modern Glasgow (Manchester: Manchester University Press 1987); Joseph Bradley Ethnic and Religious Identity in Modern Scotland: Culture Politics and Football (Aldershot: Avebury 1995); Tom Devine (ed.) Scotland’s Shame? Bigotry and Sectarianism in Modern Scotland (Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing 2000); Steve Bruce Tony Glendinning Iain Paterson & Michael Rosie Sectarianism in Scotland (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 2004); Michael Rosie The Sectarian Myth in Scotland: Of Bitter Memory and Bigotry (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan 2004); Steve Bruce Tony Glendinning Iain Paterson & Michael Rosie “Religious Discrimination in Scotland: Fact or Myth?” Ethnic and Racial Studies 28/1 (2005) 151–168; Tom Gallagher Divided Scotland: Ethnic Friction and Christian Crisis (Glendaruel: Argyll Publishing 2013); Scottish Government Justice Analytical Services An Examination of the Evidence on Sectarianism in Scotland (2013) http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/ 0042/00424891.pdf (accessed 14 March 2014).

  • 10

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  • 13

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  • 23

    John Wolffe“Protestant-Catholic Divisions in Europe and the United States: An Historical and Comparative Perspective,” Politics Religion & Ideology 12/3 (2011) 241–256.

  • 30

    Mark Chaves“Secularization as Declining Religious Authority,” Social Forces 72/3 (1994) 749–774.

  • 32

    Linda Woodhead“What We Really Think,” The Tablet9 November 2013 12–13 and “Endangered Species” The Tablet 16 November 2013 6–7.

  • 33

    Clive Field“Is the Bible Becoming a Closed Book? British Opinion Poll Evidence,” Journal of Contemporary Religion forthcoming.

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