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The priest in secular work: participating in the missio Dei

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posted on 2023-08-30, 16:29 authored by Jenny Gage
The purpose of this thesis is to describe and evaluate the unique vocation and selfunderstanding of the priest in secular work in the Church of England. At present, it is not well understood as a particular form of priestly ministry which can contribute to theology and models of priesthood in the Church. Phenomenological research was undertaken with 28 priests in secular work, including myself, through a co-operative inquiry group, and through in-depth interviews. The ensuing data was interrogated against a background of appropriate theological literature. The data was analysed using the double hermeneutic of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, enabling me to describe certain key features, such as our sense of identity as priests, and our commitment to our secular work. This is exemplified through discussion of four key questions: • What does it mean to be a priest in the secular? • Does it make any difference to how we do our jobs? • How does this proclaim Christ to the world? • What is the role of the priest in secular work in the life of the church? The contribution to knowledge is the assessment of the priest in secular work as a particular vocation through which God works in the secular world. The priest in secular work contributes to the missio Dei through their witness to God’s presence and to God’s affirmation of that world, and through their sacramental embodiment of that presence and affirmation.



Anglia Ruskin University

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