Journal Article

Religious Differences between Married and Celibate Clergy: Does Celibacy Make a Difference?

Don Swenson

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 59, issue 1, pages 37-43
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3711964
Religious Differences between Married and Celibate Clergy: Does Celibacy Make a Difference?

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There has been a long tradition of clerical celibacy within Roman Catholicism. It is argued, using several biblical texts and traditional statements, that celibacy is the better choice for the clergy because it frees the person from concerns of marriage and children and enables a person to be more devoted to God and to have a more mature spiritual life. However, this argument has never been tested empirically. A data base consisting of 1294 evangelical ministers (most of whom are married) and 80 Roman Catholic priests in Canada was utilized to test this argument. It was theorized and verified that being a celibate did not make a significant difference to one's spiritual life. A discussion ensues and a pastoral recommendation follows.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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