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Author: Sharon Jagger

Abstract

This article explores the experiences of women priests in the Church of England through the lens of Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic violence. Comparing acts of symbolic violence perpetrated against women in the priesthood with the categories of domestic abuse set out in the Duluth Wheel of Power model, I highlight how institutional discourses in the Church and relational interactions can hold hidden abuses based on how gender is constructed at the symbolic level. My intention is to show that the Church of England’s split structure, known as the two integrities, is a manifestation of religious discourse that frames women as differently human and that this fundamental view of gender perpetuates masculine domination and violence against women, often in unseen ways. My argument concludes with a call to better understand the nature of gendered symbolic violence and how religious institutions provide justification for and legitimisation of such violence.

In: Religion and Gender