Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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(1935-) Rector of Winterbourne Parish, Bristol, England (1970-); Convener, Network for the Study of Implicit Religion (NSIR, 1978-); Founder and Chair, Centre for the Study of Implicit Religion and Contemporary Spirituality.

Bailey's doctoral thesis, Emergent Mandalas: The Implicit Religion of Contemporary Society , at the University of Bristol was supervised by F. B. Welbourn and marked the start of Bailey's energetic promotion of the study of the religion implicit in contemporary society but increasingly outside the confines of conventional institutional religion. With its affinity to the sociological concepts of common religion, civil religion, and invisible religion, in its focus on the empirical reality of the religious in everyday life, the notion of implicit religion has received widespread recognition and acceptance on an international basis, largely through Bailey's efforts—a remarkable achievement in the absence of significant institutional backing or a cadre of graduate students' output. Since 1978, Bailey has organized an annual "implicit religion" academic conference at Denton, North Yorkshire, as well as many courses and study days for religious professionals and religious educators. The NSIR has formed an important link between academics, religious professionals, and all interested in empirical studies of popular contemporary religion.

Peter Gee


E. I. Bailey, Implicit Religion in Contemporary Society (Kampen, Neth.: Kok Pharos, 1997)

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