Subject positions : monarchy, civil religion and folk religion in Britain

Rowbottom, Anne: Subject positions : monarchy, civil religion and folk religion in Britain. In: Politics and folk religion, (6). pp. 137-152. (2001)

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As Head of State, Head of the Church of England and the living symbol of the national unity, the British monarch embodies the political and religious institutions of the United Kingdom. Consequently, the ceremonies and events involving the monarch and the royal family constitute a central part ofthe civil religion of the nation-state. One potential problematic of the official discourse on national identity made available through the civil religion is the principle of heredity, which by elevating the status of royal birth simultaneously lowers the status of the mass of the people. However, this positioning does not cause widespread offence, or provoke general hostility towards the institution of monarchy. On the contrary, as the public mourning for Diana Princess of Wales demonstrated, royalty has the power to mobilise the sentiments and actions of millions. Drawing upon fieldwork conducted over the past ten years, my concern in this paper is with unofficial public participation in royal ceremonials and events as folk version of the official civil religion. More particularly I am concerned with the ways in which these folk participants negotiate their socially inferior positioning by switching between the competing discourses of democratic egalitarianism and of heredity status, discourses which the concept of constitutional monarchy seeks to combine.

Item Type: Book Section
Journal or Publication Title: Politics and folk religion
Date: 2001
Volume: 6
ISSN: 1419-1288
ISBN: 963 482 400 5
Page Range: pp. 137-152
Series Name: Szegedi vallási néprajzi könyvtár
Event Title: Symposium of SIEF Commission of folk religion (3.) (1999) (Szeged)
Related URLs:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Vallásosság - Nagy-Britannia - 20. sz., Valláspolitika - Nagy-Britannia - 20. sz., Népi vallásosság
Additional Information: Bibliogr.: p. 151-152. ; ill. ; összefoglalás angol nyelven
Subjects: 06. Humanities
06. Humanities > 06.01. History and archaeology
06. Humanities > 06.01. History and archaeology > 06.01.01. History
06. Humanities > 06.03. Philosophy, ethics and religion
06. Humanities > 06.03. Philosophy, ethics and religion > 06.03.04. Religious studies
Date Deposited: 2020. Sep. 11. 11:21
Last Modified: 2020. Sep. 11. 11:21

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