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Beliefs About God

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Chapter Summary

This chapter answers the question: what beliefs about God are found in high and low level popular religious participation and what is the social location of these beliefs? To formulate what answers can be expected to this question, it looks at some traditional Catholic teachings about God. It shows how popular religiosity is depicted in literature as professing non-traditional beliefs about God, but when it is interpreted as a phenomenon within Catholic Church it is anticipated that it will specifically endorse traditional beliefs about God. It then outlines the conceptualisation of traditional and non-traditional beliefs about God. The chapter defines traditional beliefs as centring on an iconic, personal and immanent-transcendent image of God, and non-traditional beliefs as lacking these characteristics. This compiles a theoretical list of traditional and non-traditional beliefs about God for empirical investigation and to formulate expectations concerning these beliefs in high and low level popular religious participation.

Keywords: Catholic Church; God; non-traditional beliefs; popular religiosity; religious participation; traditional beliefs



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