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No Popery’s Ghost

Does Popular Anti-Catholicism Survive in Contemporary Britain?

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
Author:
Clive D. Field University of Birmingham and University of Manchester, c.d.field@bham.ac.uk

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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.

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