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Title: Between faith and love? : sexual morality and religious belief among LGBT and cohabiting Catholics in Malta and Sicily
Authors: Deguara, Angele
Keywords: Sexual minorities -- Malta
Sexual minorities -- Italy -- Sicily
Religion and sociology -- Malta
Religion and sociology -- Italy --Sicily
Unmarried couples -- Malta
Unmarried couples -- Italy -- Sicily
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Deguara, A. (2018). Between faith and love? : sexual morality and religious belief among LGBT and cohabiting Catholics in Malta and Sicily (Doctoral dissertation).
Abstract: My ethnographic study explores the role of religion in relation to intimate relationships in contemporary Maltese society and to a lesser extent in Palermo, Sicily. The study examines the intersection between faith and sexuality in a secularising society. It seeks to answer two main research questions: (i) whether and to what extent the Catholic Church and its teaching influence the lifestyles, decisions, beliefs and behaviours of individuals in intimate relationships; (ii) how Catholics who are in sexual relationships which do not conform to the moral guidelines of the Catholic Church, more specifically lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans (LGBT) and divorced or separated and cohabiting or remarried men and women experience conflict arising from the incongruence between their beliefs and their sexual desires or lifestyle choices. My ethnographic fieldwork consisted of two years of participant observation with Drachma LGBTI in Malta. I also spent a short time with members of Ali d’Aquila in Palermo. Both organisations offer a space where LGBT individuals may reconcile their sexuality and their spirituality. Most informants from Drachma and Ali d’Aquila are male, in their mid-thirties and well-educated. I also conducted forty-five in-depth, unstructured interviews with both LGBT and non-LGBT individuals whose lifestyle or sexuality does not conform to the official teaching of the Catholic Church on sexuality. Being brought up in a traditionally Catholic society means absorbing notions of what it means to be a ‘good’ Catholic such as being heterosexual, getting married in Church, not having sex outside marriage and having children. Therefore non-conformity to these expectations leads to various conflicts and struggles which may manifest themselves in a number of ways and on many levels. The official teaching of the Church on sexual morality is the main source of conflict not only with the Church itself but also with God, with significant others and with the wider moral community.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2018
Dissertations - FacArtAS - 2018

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