Protestants and prawns: enchantment and 'The Word' in a Scottish fishing village
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This thesis attempts to understand what it is like to live and work as a ‘sincere’ and ‘committed’ Christian in Gamrie, a small fishing village of 700 people and six conservative Protestant churches, whose staunch religiosity is itself on the cusp of dramatic economic, social and spiritual change. More than this, it is an attempt to show how the everyday religious experiences of Christians in Gamrie are animated by – but not reducible to – their social context. It seeks to do so by considering how local folk theologies relate to larger social processes occurring within Scotland and the north Atlantic. Arguing that these realms are necessarily (and simultaneously) ideational and material, my theoretical focus is upon the relationship between belief and experience – a relationship mediated, first and foremost, in and through the significance of ‘The Word’. Where beliefs have objects and where objects ‘have’ materiality, beliefs are held to be essentially material. Equally, where material happenings in the world are framed by theological (say, eschatological) ideas, objects and events are held to be unavoidably implicated in belief. Thus, my aim is to present an analytic of the relationship between the lived local experiences of belief and objects, materiality and language.