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Research Article

“Christianity is not just about religion”: Religious and National Identities in a Northern English town

Author:

Ingrid Storm

University of Manchester, GB
About Ingrid
Ingrid Storm is a Research Associate at the University of Manchester's Institute for Social Change
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Abstract

Nationality and religion have become the focus of public debates about ethnic integration in Britain, but what do such identities actually mean to people of the largely secular ethnic majority? In this study, 15 people in a small English town were interviewed about their use of religious and national labels such as ‘Christian’ and ‘English’. Collective identities were expressed mainly through individual values and experiences, indicating a sense of belonging to a group, but little consensus about what is shared between its members. Most participants used terms for religious, ethnic, regional and national groups interchangeably to describe their traditions and morals. In contrast, those few who had a strong personal religious identity distinguished sharply between the religious and national, individual and collective aspects of their identities. These participants stressed the importance of religiosity for their personal identity, whilst emphasising the secular and multicultural character of Britain as a country.

How to Cite: Storm, I., (2013). “Christianity is not just about religion”: Religious and National Identities in a Northern English town. Secularism and Nonreligion. 2, pp.21–38. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/snr.aj
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Published on 11 Apr 2013.
Peer Reviewed

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