Quick Search:

The Trickster Priest and the Gift of Non-Belonging for Ordained Women in the Church of England

Jagger, Sharon ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3012-4755 (2023) The Trickster Priest and the Gift of Non-Belonging for Ordained Women in the Church of England. In: Bennett, Yvonne, (ed.) Women and Religion in Britain Today: Belonging. 1st ed. Malaga, Vernon Press, pp. 31-58

[img] Text (Trickster Priest and the Gift of Nonbelonging)
Chapter 2.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only


On the 12th of March 1994, 32 women were ordained into the
priesthood of the Church of England. However, many in the Church remained opposed to the ordination of women and, to help prevent schism, the Church’s structure was split to accommodate those who wished to avoid the ministry of ordained women. Parishes may vote to only accept the ministry of male priests and to seek oversight from bishops who have never ordained a woman. In 2020 The Church of England’s Ministry Statistics reported that over 33% of those in ordained ministry were women, however:
[t]here were 590 parishes in which a resolution under the House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests had been passed at the end of 2020, accounting for 4.8% of all parishes. (2020, p. 32)It is evident that the battle for parity and acceptance continues, and after 30
years of women’s ordination into the Church of England, Sharon Jagger’s research suggests that female priesthood is constructed as problematic by institutional discourse and structure, and that the notion of an exclusively male priesthood is protected and legitimised. She argues that the Church’s structure, originally known as the two integrities, is experienced by ordained women as masculine domination (Bourdieu, 2001), which keeps female priests in a state of theological and doctrinal precarity and liminality. Whilst
many women priests are resistant to, and challenging of, theological positions that undermine their ontological existence, this research highlights stories of
gendered power being exercised at multiple levels of the organisation, manifesting as ambivalent sexism (Glick and Fiske, 2011). Drawing on interviews with 26 female clergy in the Church of England, Jagger explores their relationships with male clergy who do not accept women’s ordination
and how women priests often play a trickster role, (Hyde, 2008) to subvert and challenge the boundaries that prevent full belonging. The question explored in this chapter is whether women can shape their own belonging in the priesthood of the Church of England to circumvent the structural liminality in which they currently reside. Ultimately, Jagger suggests that belonging in the
priesthood of the Church, since its maleness has not been deconstructed, is not a goal for women priests. Rather, non-belonging is a gift that yields a far richer and more creative religious experience

Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7379

University Staff: Request a correction | RaY Editors: Update this record