Believing, Belonging and Beyond
An academic who publishes a book titled 'Believing in Belonging' invites comment of being both unoriginal and presumptuous. Grace Davie's 'believing without belonging' thesis suggests that people maintain a private belief in God or other Christian-associated ideals, without church attendance or other forms of Christian participation. The majority of British people persist in believing in God but 'see no need to participate with even minimal regularity in their religious institutions'. Davie's third point, similar to her example of believing bishops, relates to the issue of behaving bishops, and other clergy. The public expects them to uphold strict forms of moral codes, particularly with regard to 'traditional' family life. The most significant group of people who had traditionally self-identified as Christian was the older female population. The actions of the active minority may be, in the minds of the non-active majority, romanticized and only occasionally glimpsed in practice, but that does not diminish their salience.