Devon Thomas

Devon Thomas

University of New Hampshire

Anthropology


2006

Mentor: Dr. Justus Ogembo, UNH Departments of Anthropology & Education

Ethnography of Doctrinal Conflict Within the Episcopate

This study will focus on the conflict within the Episcopal denomination regarding the appointment of gays and lesbians as clergy within that institution. The study will highlight the tension this conflict creates between (communities) within the denomination. It will examine the structure of the denomination to ascertain where within the denomination doctrinal conflicts originate.

One goal of this study is to note the role doctrinal conflict plays in the evolution of religious institutions, using the Episcopal denomination and the (conflicting groups) within that denomination as an example. This study will also bring attention to the position of gays and lesbians in modern society through examination of this current conflict over their status in religious doctrine, especially the doctrine of the Episcopal denomination.

The data of this study will be collected through a series of interviews with members of opposing (communities) within the Episcopal denomination. Once completed this study should provide a detailed example of how doctrinal conflicts within a denomination can bring about theological and social changes.

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