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Beliefs About The Church

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Chapter Summary

The church is a core object of the Christian faith: faith in God and Jesus Christ is concretised in communities that try to enact it. This chapter is restricted to Catholic ecclesiology: how Catholic teachings interpret the Christian tradition with reference to the church. It examines two dimensions of beliefs about the church: a dimension ad intra and a dimension ad extra. The former concerns lay participation in the leadership of local church communities (parishes); the latter concerns relations between church and society. The chapter addresses the questions: what beliefs about the church are found in high and low level participation in popular religiosity, and what is the social location of these beliefs. It looks at Catholic teachings about the church, and then tries to identify a characteristic popular religious emphasis in beliefs about the church.

Keywords: ad extra; ad intra; Catholic Church; Christian communities; parish leadership; popular religious beliefs; societal issues



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