Implicit Religion, Vol 15, No 2 (2012)

Another Kind of Implicitness in Religion: Beliefs and Practices of Some Older Christian Women Disaffiliates

Janet Eccles
Issued Date: 4 Jul 2012


This article considers a group of older women disaffiliates from a Christian church and the use they continue to make of Christian goods and services, although disaffiliated. Davie speaks of “vicarious believers” in a number of recent writings (2000, 2006, 2007a, b): the notion that while people may no longer attend church, they still rely on the vicarious believers to maintain the church, its beliefs and practices, on their behalf. I shall describe one such case, but this article focuses mainly on two other groups of women, who do not look to the churches (or certainly not to churchgoers) for any form of believing or belonging, yet who could be seen as maintaining connections with explicitly Christian beliefs and practices. I examine the reasons why, and argue that all these women, although disaffiliated, continue the practice of both the explicitly sacred in some form, and the secular sacred, through caring for others, a more implicit form of religion. Thereby, they contribute to the social and cultural resources of the communities in which they live.

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DOI: 10.1558/imre.v15.i2.15473


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