Dr Jane Anderson is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Western Australia. She is presently in Sydney for a month conducting interviews as part of a four-year research investigation into the changing ways in which many people view their Catholic faith today. In this 40 minute interview with the co-publisher of Catholica, Amanda (Milly) McKenna, Dr Anderson explores some of the ways in which Amanda's spiritual and belief perspectives have changed in recent decades. The questions are similar to some of the questions Jane is exploring with other people who have agreed to be involved in her research.
What's your view of Jesus, the Church, and your own faith today?
What a delightful few days it has been having Dr Anderson as a guest at Catholica. Today we present the first of two recorded conversations with Jane that we recorded on Saturday, 16th July 2011. The reality is that for the two and a half days she was with us we talked nearly non-stop exploring these big issues she has been researching for the past two years — a lot more in fact if you add in the research she undertook for her doctorate — into how people's perceptions of their Catholic beliefs and faith have been changing. The formal title of her Research Fellowship is "Negotiating Catholic Identity – An Investigation of a Progressive Religious Movement". Her focus is oriented towards understanding the faith and belief perspectives of that now huge sector of the baptised who have become distanced from the formal institution and who are seeking to explore their faith in new ways. She tells us she's not entirely happy with the label "progressive" but she wanted a way to differentiate the sector of the population whose views she is interested in exploring from the now much smaller sector who continue to be happy with where institutional Catholicism has ended up.
This first video is more in the nature of an interview with Jane putting to Amanda some of the questions in the questionnaire she is asking others to contibute to as part of her research. This coming Thursday we will bring you a longer conversation we recorded with Jane which focuses more on her life journey that has led her to this research and which explores some of what she has been discovering through her research.
NOTE FOR THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO BE INVOLVED IN THIS RESEARCH: We have been a bit overwhelmed by the response to the email we published last Saturday and have only emailed out the questionnaire to about a third of the people who have requested it so far. If you've not yet received a response please be patient.
Brian Coyne 19/07/2011
What are your thoughts on this commentary?
©2011Jane Anderson, Amanda McKenna, Catholica