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English Evangelicals, Equality and the City

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Chapter Summary

This chapter first outlines relations between conservative evangelicalism, equalities legislation and 'public' religion in Britain, and shows how conservative evangelical leaders seek to encourage members of their churches to speak 'publicly' about their views on sexuality. It then reviews how members of St. John's engage with this ideal in practice, showing that they often struggle to voice their beliefs in the ways that their leaders seek to encourage. Finally, the chapter argues that their reluctance to articulate the church's countercultural teachings on sexuality in contexts outside the church, and their awkwardness about being 'out' as Christians, reveals their subjectivities as shaped by the intersection of contradictory logics of interaction, which they learn to narrate through idioms of 'guilt' and 'sin', binding them more closely in their relations with others and sense of distinction from 'secular' and other religious others they encounter in everyday life.

Keywords: Britain; church's countercultural teachings; conservative evangelicalism; equalities legislation; public religion; sexuality



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