Raising Awareness of the Bible in Contemporary British Society – A Case Study of Young Adults Who are Not Involved in a Faith Community

Author: F. Morgan.

Abstract:

This paper explores attitudes to the Bible among non-churchgoers in the UK. It focuses on a case study of young professionals, examining their familiarity with the Bible and their opinions of it. It evaluates the ways in which the Church attempts to raise awareness of the Bible and asks how culturally relevant these approaches are to the people represented in the case study.
The participants had been exposed to the Bible to varying degrees in childhood but rarely read it as adults. They acknowledged that it was an important cultural document and some believed its moral messages were helpful, but it had little or no relevance to their daily lives. They expressed doubts about its historicity and viewed fundamentalist interpretations as dangerous.
The challenge to the Church in contemporary society is to encourage sceptical people to explore the text for themselves. Young professionals who are dismissive of Christianity may still be interested in the Bible as a literary or cultural text. Its publication in an accessible form, as a work of literature
rather than as a religious text, may appeal more to such groups than the use of the Bible in sermons, on Christian websites or in discussion groups. The Church may need to be open to new ways of reading the Bible and be less possessive about its interpretation if it wants to broaden the readership, trusting that a divinely inspired text can speak for itself in contemporary
society.

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