Does the Church of England Present a Coherent Theology of the Devil and the Demonic in its Liturgical Formulae?

  • Thomas Clammer

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


An examination of the Common Worship liturgical resources of the Church of England with attention to references to the devil, the demonic, and evil. The study begins by discussing the methods by which the Church of England has articulated the relationship between liturgy and theology over its history, drawing particularly on examples from the Homilies and the Tracts to demonstrate various methodologies used. The liturgical history of the Church of England is briefly reviewed with particular attention given to the way in which the devil and the demonic are referenced within the texts which were in use variously from 1549 until the last years of the 20th century. The core methodology is that of structural analysis. By analysing individual liturgical units of a given liturgy, the theologies articulated within the service are identified and compared. Building upon the method of structural analysis, this study develops a new methodology for analysing liturgical texts by structural analysis in order to identify the theologies of the devil and the demonic in the baptismal, healing and deliverance liturgies of the Church of England. The key texts for analysis are Holy Baptism and A Celebration of Wholeness and Healing from Common Worship. Deliverance liturgies are not authorised centrally and so these have been sourced from various individual dioceses, as well as other provinces in the Church. Structural analysis is carried out following the same methodology in each case, and reflections are drawn at the end of each section prior to the more substantive conclusion. It is demonstrated that there is significant diversity of theological assertion within the currently available texts as well as between Common Worship and the Book of Common Prayer. The study concludes with a suggestion for further development of this methodology to treat other texts within the Common Worship library.
Date of Award11 Dec 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Winchester
SupervisorNeil Messer (Supervisor) & Simon Jones (Supervisor)


  • liturgy
  • devil
  • evil
  • demonic
  • Common Worship
  • Book of Common Prayer
  • baptism
  • healing
  • exorcism
  • deliverance

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