ILLINGWORTH, ELIZABETH,ROSE (2020) Individual Autonomy and Institutional Constraint: Structural Sin in the Church of England through the Lens of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Masters thesis, Durham University.
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In the last ten years social scientists have recognised that Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) is not simply an individual issue; instead, organisational and societal culture has a role in the perpetration of, detection of, and response to, abuse. This secular learning has not been fully integrated into the church’s self-understanding, given the church’s emphasis on the personal nature of sin and responsibility. This is further complexified by a flaw in the church’s self-understanding which suggests that the presence of the Spirit in the church means that it is a unique organisation, which does not need to engage with secular learning, or even that it is incapable of sin. The presence of CSA within the church clearly shows this to be an inaccurate understanding.
I draw on Healy’s Practical-Prophetic Ecclesiology to suggest that the church is as capable of sin as the rest of the world, and that the Spirit works in the non-church world as well as the church, which means that it is appropriate for the church to draw on secular learning to shape its practice. Furthermore, I argue that the concept of structural sin, initially articulated by Liberation Theologians, offers a theological framework which enables the church to engage with both the individual and structural aspects of the abuse perpetrated within it. I do this by exploring the extent to which structural understandings of sin can be integrated with Palmer and Feldman’s organisational theory of CSA and Hartill’s social scientific approach to CSA. I test the validity of this integration by exploring the extent to which these theories have explanatory power for the abuse perpetrated by Peter Ball, and the church’s response to the allegations made against him, as portrayed in the transcripts of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||22 Jan 2021 10:19|