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The distinctive relationship between sexual ecstasy and spiritual ecstasy for heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered clergy of the Church of England: Integrating Transpersonal Awareness with an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

Smith, S (2018) The distinctive relationship between sexual ecstasy and spiritual ecstasy for heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered clergy of the Church of England: Integrating Transpersonal Awareness with an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

Twenty-two participants who identified as heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered clergy of the Church of England were recruited and interviewed using a semi-structured interview. The methodology employed incorporated Transpersonal Awareness with an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. After several levels of analysis the following superordinate themes emerged: (a) twenty of these participants organised their sexuality and spirituality in a dialectical or unified relationship; (b) twelve of these reported a direct mystical union with God through the veil of sexual ecstasy; (c) all twelve reported that these experiences have been transformative leading to an expanded and inclusive sense of self and other, which has also enhanced their ministry; (d) rituals and symbols that reflect the distinctive relationship between sex and spirit are needed to reflect and confirm heterosexual and LGBT participants’ lived experiences; and, (e) the House of Bishops of the Church of England continues to place spirituality and sexuality in a dualistic relationship, relegating the latter into the shadows of human experience, causing a deep sense of rejection and oppression for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered clergy who faithfully serve as priests within the Church of England.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Church of England; Heterosexual; LGBT; Sexual ecstasy; Spiritual ecstasy; Transpersonal awareness
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2019 12:17
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2019 12:17
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00010207
Supervisors: Lancaster, L and McIlroy, D
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10207

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