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  • In Sickness and in Health: A Theological-Exegetical Reading of Healings in the Gospels and Acts as the Basis for the Development of a Pentecostal Theology of Healing

    Clay, Martin; Frestadius, Simo; Ager, Rachel M. (University of Chester, 2021-12)
    There is, and always has been, a dark side to Pentecostal theologies of healing. This is because Pentecostal theologies and practices of healing have not adequately dealt with the reality that for many Pentecostals the promise of divine healing is not borne out by experience. This contradiction between promise and experience exacerbates the suffering of people who are not healed after prayer and alienates them from the very faith community that should be supporting them. The key argument of this thesis, and the original contribution to knowledge it will provide, is that a theological-exegetical reading of the Gospels and Acts can be utilised to inform and ground a renewed theology of healing which, rather than alienating those affected by illness, injury, or disability, empowers them. A literature review confirms that there is not already a biblically based and sufficiently developed pentecostal theology and practice of healing, which is consistent with the experience of the many Pentecostals who are not healed after prayer, which is, or could be, followed by Pentecostals in Britain today (Chapter 3). The Pentecostal hermeneutic of Spirit, Community and Word is utilised to ground the renewed theology of healing. The lived testimonies of Christians whose prayers for divine healing remain unanswered bears witness to the fact that not all faithful Spirit-filled Christians are healed today (Chapter 4). A theological-exegetical reading of the healing narratives in the Gospels and Acts reveals that the presuppositions held by many Pentecostals in relation to healing were not upheld (Chapter 5). This demonstrated that the Evangelists did not expect their readers to assume that Jesus healed all who came to him, or that faith was a prerequisite to healing. The outcomes of the reading of the Gospels and Acts, as well as the examination of the lived testimonies of current Pentecostal believers are utilised to ground a renewed Pentecostal theology of healing (Chapter 6). This theology is shaped by a theology of the cross and the message of Johann Blumhardt, which set healing within a cosmic-eschatological perspective. Significantly, this renewed theology is one which does not alienate those who suffer. Rather, it acknowledges the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who are suffering, and it recognises their continuing faithfulness to God in the midst of suffering as lives that are victorious. It is theology which calls the church to fight the causes of suffering, but also to be present with those who suffer. The church can then respond consistently and compassionately to those who suffer both before and after prayers for healing, regardless of the outcome of those prayers.
  • A Study in Practical Theology on the Composition of Application for the Expository Sermon in a sample of Reformed Presbyterian Preachers in Northern Ireland

    Firth, Peter; Fulford, Ben; Sutherland, David (University of Chester, 2022-06)
    Composing sermon application is a problem for many expository preachers. Some consider it the most challenging element of their sermon preparation process. Consequently, application is often a weak element in their sermons. This qualitative study addresses that homiletic problem by exploring the significance of the expository approach, defined particularly by Doriani and Capill, for composing application in the expository sermon. A sample of nine Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland preachers participated in semi-structured interviews. Four themes emerged from the data collected: importance of application, significance of the defined expository method, difficulty of composing application, and inadequacy of the defined expository method. The findings showed that, while the participants considered sermon application important and the defined expository method was significant in their experience, the process of composing application remained difficult for them. The findings also showed that other elements beyond the defined method were significant in their experience. Those elements were identified as: the Holy Spirit, pastoral visitation, corporate worship, congregant input, and godly character. These beyond method elements are then reflected on theologically using church tradition and Christian Scriptures.
  • Lossless Compression of Neuromorphic Vision Sensor Data Based on Point Cloud Representation

    Martini, Maria; Adhuran, Jayasingham; Khan, Nabeel; Kingston University London; University of Chester (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2022-11-14)
    Visual information varying over time is typically captured by cameras that acquire data via images (frames) equally spaced in time. Using a different approach, Neuromorphic Vision Sensors (NVSs) are emerging visual capturing devices that only acquire information when changes occur in the scene. This results in major advantages in terms of low power consumption, wide dynamic range, high temporal resolution, and lower data rates than conventional video. Although the acquisition strategy already results in much lower data rates than conventional video, such data can be further compressed. To this end, in this paper we propose a lossless compression strategy based on point cloud compression, inspired by the observation that, by appropriately reporting NVS data in a $(x,y,t)$ tridimensional space, we have a point cloud representation of NVS data. The proposed strategy outperforms the benchmark strategies resulting in a compression ratio up to 30% higher for the considered.
  • Design and Simulation of Reversible Time-Synchronized Quantum-Dot Cellular Automata Combinational Logic Circuits with Ultralow Energy Dissipation

    Edwards, Gerard; Alharbi, Mohammed; Stocker, Richard; University of Chester; John Moores University
    The quantum-dot cellular automata (QCA) represent emerging nanotechnology that is poised to supersede the current complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor digital integrated circuit technology. QCA constitutes an extremely promising transistor-less paradigm that can be downscaled to the molecular level, thereby facilitating tera-scale device integration and extremely low energy dissipation. Reversible QCA circuits, which have reversibility sustained down from the logical level to the physical level, can execute computing operations dissipating less energy than the Landauer energy limit (kBTln2). Time synchronization of logic gates is an essential additional requirement, especially in cases involving complex circuits, for ensuring accurate computational results. This paper reports the design and simulation of eight new both logically and physically reversible time-synchronized QCA combinational logic circuits. The new circuit design presented here mitigates the clock delay problems, which are caused by the non-synchronization of logic gate information, via the use of an inherently more symmetric circuit configuration. The simulation results confirm the behaviour of the proposed reversible time-synchronized QCA combinational logic circuits which exhibit ultralow energy dissipation and simultaneously provide accurate computational results.
  • Understanding “flow”: A multimodal reading of political economy and capitalist erotics in hip hop

    Maxwell, Kate; Greenaway, Jonathan; UiT The Arctic University of Norway; University of Chester (SAGE Publications, 2022-11-10)
    One of the essential elements of a rapper’s art is “flow”: the delivery of text against beat. Hip hop, with its linguistic dominance and street origins, is traditionally male-orientated, with women often depicted in terms of (sexual) subordination. However, when considered through a female gaze, the discourses conjured by “flow” take on different meanings. From the flow of desire to monthly visits from Aunt Flo, “flow” is integral to female sexuality. As a commercial art form in a capitalist society, the flow of capital is another meaning that has been largely overlooked in hip hop studies. In this article we broaden the understanding of “flow” to include that of the libido, menstruation, capital, and social media. We analyse five hip hop songs (with videos) using a methodology that builds on Van Leeuwen’s (1999) multimodal analysis of sound, together with a tripartite division of “mode” into cultural practices, semiotic resources, and elements (Maxwell, 2015), underpinned by close readings of the Marxist philosophers Deleuze and Guattari. We show that the dominant flow in hip hop is inevitably that of capital – the Deleuzian great flow – and that even this self-consciously subversive music style is governed by the insatiable drive of the market.

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