• Patterns of Power, Power of Patterns: Exploring Landscape Context in the Borderland of the Northern and Central Welsh Marches, AD 300-1100

      Gondek, Meggen; Williams, Howard; Ainsworth, Stewart; Duckers, Gary L. (University of Chester, 2020-09-10)
      Scholarship regarding the early medieval Welsh Marches is frequently disparate and disjointed. Studies have concentrated on the analysis of monuments, in part because of the paucity of early medieval archaeology upon which to create a tableau conducive to macro landscape-based research. Where syncretic works in the Welsh Marches have attempted to adopt an interdisciplinary approach, they are often dated, not embracing, or utilising new techniques or methods. This is exacerbated by approaches in archaeological remotes sensing that have focused on methods or only producing dots and lines on a map, rather than its application and integration into theoretical frameworks widening further the divide between theory and practice. Combined, these approaches also fail to integrate fully within discourses emerging in border studies, a critical field of study when analysing border regions. To tackle these challenges, this thesis examines the borderland landscape of the North and Central Marches using traditional geographical and archaeological techniques, combined with GIS and remote sensed methodologies such as lidar to offer new insight into processes of power and how that is reflected in the landscape. This research targets not only landscape morphology but embraces border theory on the expression and apparatus of power emphasising the ‘borderland’ as an active agent in territoriality and social processes. This study has analysed remote sensed data and data sets that have previously been underutilised and combined theoretical concepts into a holistic body of work. New or misinterpreted archaeological sites have been identified, adding to the archaeological knowledge of the region and facilitated an enhanced picture of the early medieval landscape. In addition, the interrelationship of boundaries and sites hitherto unrecognised in the Welsh Marches have collectively opened new avenues and concepts to underpin and augment further research on dyke systems and border formation processes.
    • Pureland Buddhism and the Post-Secular: Dharmavidya’s Summary of Faith and Practice.

      Dossett, Wendy; Ollier, Richard J. (University of Chester, 2020-09-10)
      This thesis demonstrates that Summary of Faith and Practice by Dharmavidya David Brazier is used by its writer and readers to establish a ‘post-secular’ identity for the Pureland Buddhism of the Amida Order, in contrast to the self-proclaimed ‘secular’ identity of some other forms of Buddhism. This contemporary, British-centred and predominantly convert Pureland Buddhism has been largely overlooked in the analytical scholarship of British Buddhism. The thesis contributes to knowledge by focussing on a text which plays a significant part in the life of the Order. It relates the text to the broader context of an ongoing debate between ‘secular’ and ‘religious’ Buddhism as Buddhism continues to spread beyond Asia. Using my location as an ‘insider’ within the Amida Order, I adopt a research methodology borrowed from the discourse analysis of Michael Hoey, and from documentary theology. I employ this methodology to demonstrate how the text is constituted by its authorising tradition, its writer, its ideal readers, and its actual readers as a form of post-secular Buddhism. By emphasising Pureland’s ‘religious’ characteristics and how these are, in part, established with reference to Christianity, the thesis challenges any assumption that contemporary British convert Buddhism is exclusively ‘secular’.
    • Insult and society in the twelfth century

      Pickles, Thomas; Copley, Dale E. (University of Chester, 2019-08-14)
      This thesis is a study of insult in the Historia ecclesiastica of Orderic Vitalis (b. 1075- d. 1142). It argues that the culturally specific nature of insult means we can learn more about a society by studying its insults. Studying insult in the Historia ecclesiastica can tell us something about Norman society in the twelfth century. This thesis is unusual in studying insult through a narrative source. Methodological assumptions made in the study of insult using documentary evidence must be adapted for this new context. This thesis first creates a dataset of insults through a line-by-line reading of the text. This dataset is then analysed as a whole – to survey the nature of the insults Orderic uses and the rhetorical purposes insult serves in the text. This process informs further research questions. For each subsequent research question a selection is made from the dataset and is analysed using close reading. The methodology created to study insult in the Historia ecclesiastica has potential for use in studying other topics and using other medieval narratives. Studying insult in a single narrative source means this thesis can also tell us something about the Historia ecclesiastica and Orderic’s authorial project. A typographical survey of insult suggests it served four main rhetorical purposes in Orderic’s work; it was a key tool in explaining the causation of events; it helped with characterisation of some of the text’s main protagonists; it was a key part of Orderic’s adherence to certain specific genre of writing incorporated with the wider historical genre of the EH; and it helped Orderic to fulfil the medieval requirement that writing should entertain. This thesis argues that the rhetorical use of insult in Orderic’s text developed out of the use of ethologia – character portraits – a convention Orderic inherited from earlier medieval authors and the Classical canon. Insult proved for Orderic the more useful rhetorical tool. Analysis in the second half of the thesis focuses on the impact of studying insult for our understanding of three areas of medieval life; medieval emotion, concepts of honour and vengeance, and the chivalric code. Studying insult and emotion in the Historia ecclesiastica suggests emotion in the medieval world could be both performatively deployed and truly felt. Studying insult and honour suggests it is possible to define Norman society as an honour society with an active feud culture. And studying insult and chivalry suggests that we can speak of a chivalric culture in the high medieval period albeit one with a distinctive twelfthcentury identity. The selection of these three research questions speaks to the potential of insult for studying both internal experience and its outward expression. One of the most interesting implications of studying insult is its power to recognise the social structures in medieval society without reducing medieval people to actors with no agency. Insult is a ‘field’ of contest for the renegotiation of cultural ideals and norms so studying insult has the potential to track changes in behavioural codes across time and place.
    • The nature of youth ministry in Northern Ireland through the eyes of local practitioners

      Morris, Wayne; Warnock, Helen Jane (University of Chester, 2020-04-15)
      The purpose of this research was to uncover the nature of youth ministry in Northern Ireland. This inquiry was prompted by noting the confusion that exists with regard to the expressed frameworks and priorities of youth ministry across the academy and practice, alongside the lack of research into youth ministry within the Northern Irish context. These factors created the need to take time to excavate youth ministry practice in Northern Ireland through the perspective of the practitioner. Thus, this thesis aims to clarify what youth ministry is and how it is understood and expressed in the Northern Irish context today. Guided by the motifs of uncovering and honouring, I engaged in a qualitative research process of semi-structured interviewing and an iterative process of data analysis using a hermeneutical phenomenology approach. Twelve youth ministry professionals from across the evangelical Protestant sector created the backbone of this research. Findings revealed the significant influence of the practitioners themselves, alongside the distinctive nature of the Northern Irish context. First, I uncovered two dominant values held by practitioners: a personal and deeply held sense of vocation and a high regard for the Bible. Second, I discovered two significant markers with regard to context: church culture as a significantly embedded social institution in Northern Ireland and emerging social identities, as influenced by the backdrop of recent civil conflict. However, it is the interplay of values, context and ministry that further displays the cohesive nature of youth ministry in Northern Ireland. The values operate as core motivating characteristics, creating a paradigm for practice committed to young people. This subsequently reveals a redemptive quality reflected not just in a ministry message but also through a ministry way, seen in the dynamic nature of youth ministry practitioners as agents of change.
    • Law and Order in Medieval Chester 1066-1506: Evidence from Domesday Book, Chester City Courts and medieval texts

      Doran, John; Gaunt, Peter; Wilson, Katherine; Greatorex Roskilly, Vanessa J. (University of Chester, 2018-09-19)
      Medieval Chester has been stigmatised by post-medieval writers and academics as a militarised ‘Wild West’ town full of ruffians and criminals. This thesis investigates whether that reputation is justified. Three categories of evidence are systematically evaluated: the Domesday laws, the records of proceedings from Chester’s four medieval city courts – the Crownmote, the Portmote, the Pentice Court and the Passage Court – and references to Chester in medieval texts. Findings from the city’s Mayors’ and Sheriffs’ Books, the Cheshire Outlawry Rolls, Trailbaston proceedings and the Bishops’ Registers are also assessed. It is clear from these sources that, while the centuries wrought some changes and assault was not uncommon, throughout the Middle Ages the proportion of violent offences perpetrated by citizens of Chester was comprehensively dwarfed by the trading offences, property transactions and debts which formed the bulk of cases handled by the City Courts. The examination of medieval chronicles and other literary sources confirms that contemporary commentators did not view Chester as particularly lawless. Comparisons with the national state of law and order in medieval England strengthen the contention that Chester was no more criminal or militarised than any other medieval city.
    • The Governance of Shropshire During the Civil War and Interregnum 1642-1660

      Jones, Isabel (University of Chester, 2017-05)
      Often considered as an insignificant, sleepy, rural backwater, the county of Shropshire has attracted little academic interest, particularly concerning the period covering the civil war and Interregnum. Recent studies on the county have concentrated solely on the military aspect of the conflict and have not ventured into the Commonwealth and Protectorate years, nor looked at the administration and the internal politics of the shire. Yet in the first months of the war, the county was seen by Charles I as being vital to his success given its location on the Welsh border and with good transport links to the neighbouring Marcher counties. Shrewsbury was the main rallying point for the crown, and many of the local gentry flocked to the town with donations for the royal coffers. From then, up until 1645, most the county was held for the crown, until the fall of Shrewsbury in 1645 signalled an end to royalist dominance. This thesis is not an analysis of the causes of, or the actual events of, the war, as those matters are peripheral to this examination, being mentioned only briefly during the examination. It is, however, a full analysis of both county society and government, and will consider local issues, some of which had a wide-ranging effect, finances, justice and religion. But, most importantly, it will examine the personnel involved in both local and central government, how they changed over the period according to their allegiance and who was in power, and whether in the aftermath of war former royalists were welcomed back into the Commission of the Peace and other local committees to resume what they saw as being their rightful place in society. The academic study of the county is not a unique concept, having been promoted by Professor Alan Everitt in the 1960s in his study of Kent. In that research, Everitt proposed the concept of the county community, whereby the insular gentry were more interested in local affairs than national issues, and very much resented any interference from central government into what they considered was their domain. This thesis is not an attempt to try and slot Shropshire into that category, for Everitt’s argument has long been considered void. However, the basic framework of research into the county community that many academics have used in the past will be utilised to a certain extent, and the findings compared as much as possible with other neighbouring counties to try and ascertain whether there were any peculiarities within this Marcher society.
    • The spiral stair or vice: Its origins, role and meaning in medieval stone castles

      Gaunt, Peter; Ryder, Charles (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2011-02)
      This thesis addresses a neglected area of castles studies - the spiral stair. It studies the origins, evolution, placing, structure, role, significance and meaning of spiral stairs in medieval stone castles between 1066 and 1500, so covering the rise, zenith and decline of the castle in England and Wales. Although focussed upon England and Wales, it has a wider geographical spread across Ireland, Scotland, Europe, the Middle East and Japan with particular regard to castles and on even wider when searching for the origins of the spiral stair, encompassing the whole globe. The date range was also extended, both much earlier than 1066 when searching for these origins and very selectively beyond 1500 when exploring how the spiral was used in the later medieval and early modern periods. It is proposed that the first known spiral stair was employed in Trajan's Column in the first century AD, that it was then used more selectively in secular and later ecclesiastical buildings during the first millennium AD and that, from the eleventh century onwards, the spiral stair became a common feature of the medieval castle. From the emergence of the spiral stair in Rome, this thesis places its principal use in European elite and ecclesiastical structures. Focusing on the castle, this thesis argues that it was employed as a vertical boundary marker to signal and control movement between two different types of spaces, from a more public to a more private space and from a general or less restricted space to a space which was more restricted, often elite domestic quarters. This use of the spiral is seen in and is traced through different types of English and Welsh castles, from stronghold to enclosure and on to the so-called sham or cult castles of the late medieval period. The thesis also looks at the spiral in a range of medieval castles and other defensive buildings outside England and Wales and finds that, in the main, spirals were employed in the same way. It also explores the presence and role of the spiral within other medieval buildings, both in England and Wales and further afield, and argues that, although there are some exceptions and variations, in the main spiral stairs played the same role in those buildings. This thesis interprets the spiral stair within the medieval castle as a key component of the landscape of lordship and argues that the interpretation of this elite landscape, hitherto focused on the environs and outward appearance of the castle, should not stop at the castle gate but should move inside. Accordingly, this thesis takes a step to bring the interior of the castle deeper into research and discussion; to explore individual items and features within the castle; and to consider their placing, access and meaning within the medieval world.
    • Towards a Latter-day Saint theology of religions and the resultant implications for inter-faith dialogue

      Greggs, Tom; Holt, James D. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester)Univeristy of Chester, 2011-06)
      This thesis is an attempt to construct a Latter-day Saint theology of religions. It does so by seeking to systematize Morman approaches to christology, pneumatology and eschatology in relation to themes associated with theology of religions. This task has not been attempted before. The thesis reflects two dialectical strands within Mormon theology. On the one hand, Mormonism is fundamentally exclusivist with regard to other religions and on the other hand, it suggests other religions reflect the light of Christ. In trying to think through this tension, the final section of the thesis will use the Mormon linear view of eternal existence, known as the plan of salvation, as a model to argue for the existence of a continuum along which all of humanity travels. As progrtession is made along this continuum people accumulate knowledge, truth, and Spirit and develop in relationships. This continuum leads towards fulfilment in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The thesis will posit a Latter-day Saint paradigm for engagement with other religions that takes account of this fulfilment, and the two dialectical strands developed and examined throughout the thesis. This paradigm will maintain the exclusivist missioloigcal purpose of Mormonism, while still advocating the possibility of the building on, and learning from, truths evident in other relgions.
    • An analysis of Matthew Fox’s mystical immanence

      Partridge, Christopher; Evans, Joan D. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2010-12)
      The key objective of this research is to explore Matthew Fox’s mystical immanence, as developed in his panentheistic Creation-centred theology. Focussing on the key theme in his thought, the relationship between prayer and social justice, this thesis provides what is essentially an auteur critique. That is to say, his theology is excavated by means of biographical analysis, exploring his principal formative influences. In Chapter One the thesis seeks to identify and chronicle his spiritual odyssey, from his home environment via his seminary training within the Dominican Order to his acceptance into the Episcopal priesthood in 1994. Chapter Two focuses on the main influences on Fox’s thought, particularly: Marie-Dominique Chenu, who transformed Catholic thought in the twentieth century; Jewish spirituality, as developed by Martin Buber, Abraham Heschel, and Otto Rank; and Robert Bly, the American poet, author, activist and leader of the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement. Turning specifically to the principal developments in his theology, the third chapter, analyses Fox’s mysticism. His consistent use of the term ‘Creation’ is an indication of the cosmic orientation of this thinking, while his ‘creation spirituality’ is undergirded by his embrace of Thomas Aquinas, the Rhineland mystics and his rejection of Augustine. This chapter also evaluates the diverse scholarly critiques which have attempted to classify his work as New Age, pantheist, and monist. The fourth chapter turns to his complex understanding of the historical Jesus and his quest for the ‘Cosmic Christ’ in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Church Fathers. The thesis concludes with an examination of, firstly, Fox’s understanding of ‘Wisdom’, focussing on the ‘sophiological problem’ within the Russian religious consciousness and, secondly, his interpretation of liberation theology and social justice, as developed in his theology of work, Gaia, and eco-feminism.
    • The integration of postmodern values and rhetorical analysis: A case study

      Graham, Elaine L; Heacock, Clint Lyle (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2010-12)
      Both traditional preaching theory and the listening context of the hearers have undergone radical changes within the last thirty years. Contemporary preachers no longer can assume the authority inherent in their position or preaching methods, and postmodern listeners exhibit the desire for increased diversity and points of view in sermons. This thesis will address these challenges by advancing the notion that attention to rhetorical criticism in the exegesis of biblical texts sheds new light on the nature of preaching in terms of form and function. The resulting multi-vocal and non-hierarchical leadership orientation has application for postmodern audiences. The methodological structure of theological interpretation undergirding this thesis involves four tasks of the hermeneutical cycle adapted from Richard Osmer’s approach. This approach engages in the task of contextual interpretation that connects with both Christian tradition and Scripture, and furthermore leads to the construction of a pragmatic plan for future homiletics. Chapter 1 introduces the problem facing contemporary homileticians: the changed context of preacher and hearer. The chapter advocates that one way forward for preaching involves the use of rhetorical criticism as the exegetical basis for a values-based homiletic, and then finishes with an overview of the thesis chapters. Chapter 2 demonstrates the fourfold task of the hermeneutical cycle by establishing the provenance of the method, critiquing it and grounding the approach of the thesis in the contemporary postmodern setting. Chapter 3 engages in a contextual interpretation of historic shifts in the fields of rhetoric, biblical studies and homiletics, analyzing and evaluating these trends. The chapter concludes by constructing a pragmatic plan for future biblical studies, a rhetorical-critical-narratological methodology that will be applied to the text of Ezekiel. Chapter 4 demonstrates that a contextual interpretation, evaluation and analysis of the New Homiletic results in the formation of a values-based approach to preaching and leadership orientation that is appropriate to postmodernity. Chapter 5 builds upon a contextual interpretation of synchronic and diachronic methodologies and advances a complementary approach to exegesis. The chapter then applies the rhetorical-critical-narratological approach developed in Chapter 3 to the discourse of Ezekiel to establish its contextual and rhetorical situation. The chapter then engages in a close rhetorical-critical-narratological reading of the literary unit of Ezekiel 15. Chapter 6 engages in a contextual interpretation and evaluation of three Ezekiel commentaries and sermons from Ezekiel 15, locating them along the pendulum-like series of shifts identified within Chapter 3. Chapter 7 demonstrates the integration of biblical studies and homiletics with the production of a sample multiple point-of-view sermon based upon the exegesis of Ezekiel conducted in Chapter 5. The chapter critiques the sermon and provides an example of the rhetorical-critical method applied to a discursive genre from 1 Corinthians 4.18-5.13. Chapter 8 concludes the thesis by reviewing the contributions made by the study, proceeds to interpret contextually the challenge of postmodern homiletics, and finishes with recommendations for areas of future studies outside the scope of the thesis.
    • Frameworks, cries and imagery in Lamentations 1-5: Working towards a cross-cultural hermeneutic

      Morris, Wayne; Knight, Gwendoline M. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2011-02)
      This thesis explores how the ancient Near Eastern Book of Lamentations can be read and interpreted cross-culturally today, so that the reader stays with the structure of the text but also listens to the spontaneity of cries from a bereft and humiliated people as they grapple with grief. The first part sets the scene and develops a hermeneutical model: a double-stranded helix, which demonstrates the tensions between the textual form and psychological content of Lamentations 1-5. The two strands are connected by three cross-strands, which representat frameworks, cries and metaphorical images introduced by the opening stanza of each lyric. In the second part, the model becomes the basis for an examination of the frameworks of the Lamentation lyrics and of psychological grief, which together demonstrate how regular patterns are difficult to maintain without interuuption, so an analysis of the translation of cries of lament shows how strong feeling of emotion become audible or are silenced as they break through the containment of traditional borders and structures. In the third part motifs already introduced by the forms of frameworks and the sounds of cries are developed further, through metaphotical imagery. Through this fresh approach each poem becomes a new venture by means of stance, voice, and dynamic movement, as communities of men, women and children develop coping strategies for feelings of grief.
    • An examination and assessment of the role and status of women in the ‘holistic’ ministry of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus

      Bacon, Hannah; Ackroyd, Ruth; Daba Bultum, Bekure (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2011-04-07)
      The purpose of the study is to investigate and analyse the role and status of women in the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) holistic ministry. Although since 1973 the EECMY has made some effort to support women’s ministry by passing a number of different policy decisions to authorise women’s involvement in different Church ministries, women are still silenced in various areas in ministry. The study, therefore, thoroughly examines and analyzes where, how and why women are silenced in the EECMY ministry. Findings from my fieldwork suggest a number of areas of ministry where women are silenced and demonstrate substantial reasons for this silencing. The study reveals that women are denied opportunity to participate fully in four key areas of decision-making, evangelism, leadership and ordained ministry for theological and cultural reasons. The investigation shows that women experience exclusion through under-representation and restricted participation in various areas of EECMY’s holistic ministry, but particularly in top leadership roles. Findings show that theological arguments are used to subordinate women with the effect that in the home, church and wider public spheres they are relegated to domestic rather than strategic roles. The study then seeks to respond to these cultural and theological barriers which exclude women from ministry by proposing a theology that is inclusive and liberating. It does this by means of seminal texts and Gospel stories about women. Further, it directly challenges oppressive texts, such as 1 Cor. 14:34-35, 1 Tim. 2:11-15 and Gen. 2, 3, which are used to oppress women in ministry and legitimise men’s authority over women and keep them in submission. By using liberative texts, such as 1 Cor. 11:5, Gal. 3:28 and Gen. 1:27, as lenses through which the other texts may be read, women can find a scriptural basis for their full involvement in the ministry of the Church using the gifts that God has given them. In order to realize this vision, the thesis proposes adoption of a series of principles which emerge from the liberative texts, including conscientization, engendered theological education and partnership. Embracing these principles will lead women in the EECMY to develop and engage in practical strategies to gradually bring about positive change so that the barriers of patriarchy will be dismantled and women will achieve full representation and participation in public, strategic and valued areas of ministry.
    • The woman author-editor and the negotiation of professional identity, 1850-1880

      Hill, Georgina E. O. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2009-12)
      This thesis examines the professional identities of three Victorian novelists, George Eliot (1819-1880), Charlotte Yonge (1823-1901) and Florence Marryat (1837-1899), all of whom worked as editors between 1850 and 1880. I explore the practices that these women adopted as journalists in order to survive, and indeed thrive, within a male-dominated literary marketplace, revealing a number of strategies in common as well as some important differences. I also consider how these author-editors represented the experience of the female artist-professional in their fiction, demonstrating that each woman figured the mid-Victorian ideal of domesticity as useful when seeking to negotiate a public identity within a challenging professional climate. Working in the press during a period which has been described as a ‘golden age of women’s journalism,’ these writers nevertheless faced numerous challenges. The purpose of this thesis is to examine why George Eliot, Charlotte Yonge and Florence Marryat found useful the particular practices they chose when editing and writing fiction within the context of this rapidly changing climate. By examining this very diverse sample of writers, I demonstrate how women responded to the demands of the mid-Victorian periodical press, and their role within it, through the practices of anonymity, male pseudonyms, signature and posing as amateurs. The Introduction examines the nature of the professional/amateur divide at mid-century, and demonstrates how women could usefully subvert domestic ideology to position themselves as amateurs and thus covertly enter the public sphere. I offer an overview of research into the periodical press, as well as the position of the woman journalist. In the second part of my Introduction, I introduce the magazines that Eliot, Yonge and Marryat edited, describing a typical issue and offering important contextual information. Chapter One looks at George Eliot’s editorship of The Westminster Review (1852-1854), arguing that while Eliot adopted the tactic of anonymity and pseudonymity she nevertheless developed the persona of an ‘editress’ through her private correspondence. Chapter One examines the ideal of women’s literary professionalism that Eliot developed through the articles she published in The Westminster Review, based upon the values of hard work, training and excellence, and how this was then reflected in her representation of the female artist-professional in her fiction in texts as diverse as Scenes of Clerical Life (1858) and Daniel Deronda (1876). Chapter Two explores Charlotte Yonge’s editorship of The Monthly Packet (1851-1899) and the lesser-known privately circulated magazine The Barnacle (1863-1867). I examine Yonge’s practice of signature and posing as an amateur, as well as her editorial character of ‘Mother Goose,’ arguing that Yonge shared many of Eliot’s ideals of literary professionalism and that this is reflected in novels such as Dynevor Terrace (1857) and The Clever Woman of the Family (1865). In Chapter Three, I examine Florence Marryat’s editorship of London Society (1872-1876). I explore Marryat’s practice of signature, posing as an amateur when new to her profession and her editorial character of the ‘spiritualist editress,’ arguing that like Yonge, Marryat’s vision of women’s professionalism was similar to that of Eliot and that this was reflected in her representation of the female artist-professional in texts such as Her World Against a Lie (1878) and My Sister the Actress (1881). Despite writing for very different markets, what emerges from the fiction of all three author-editors is an idealised combination of posing as an amateur and skilful performance as an artist. Drawing on original archival research, this thesis recovers their hitherto under-researched editorial work, prompting a reconsideration of the canonical work of George Eliot, stressing the significance of the more familiar work of Charlotte Yonge and introducing Florence Marryat as an important but neglected literary figure.
    • Homiletics as mnemonic practice: Collective memory and contemporary Christian preaching, with special reference to the work of Maurice Halbwachs

      Greggs, Tom; Burkett, Christopher P. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2009-12)
      In his book Twilight Memories Andreas Huyssen (1995) famously described contemporary Western culture as 'a culture of amnesia'. That concern about social memory is evident in many areas of contemporary discourse. Social memory's confabulatory, subjective, and ambiguous nature makes its analysis an arena of conflicting and diverse opinions. Drawing on Maurice Halbwachs' concept of 'collective memory', and its use in more recent sociological studies, this study uses preaching theory and practice as a way of addressing those wider memory concerns in the life of the church. In particular, the profound challenge of memory work to Christianity's insistence on remembrance as the foundation of its authenticity is examined through contemporary homiletic practice. It is argued that, alongside the familiar didactic, cognitive, epistemological and contextual categories employed in preaching practice, the current crisis of memory requires a new emphasis on memory maintenance. Sermons are presented as mnemonic events essential to the ongoing living tradition of the faith.
    • Society and the land - the changing landscape of Baschurch, North Shropshire c.1550-2000

      White, Graeme J.; Varey, Sharon M. (University of LiverpoolUniversity of Chester, 2008-12)
      This study focuses upon elements of continuity and change in the developing landscape of the parish of Baschurch in north Shropshire during the period c.1550-2000. In considering a relatively neglected part of the English rural landscape, the writer examines whether landscape change in this area was unique or mirrored experiences in neighbouring parishes and the county as a whole. Shropshire as a county is understudied in terms of its landscape history and so this research project aims to redress this balance, whilst at the same time contributing to the growth of knowledge regarding rural landscape studies generally. The writer examines the themes of population, farm and fieldscape, land use, settlement and buildings, and transport. Analysis draws upon a wide range of documentary sources including a large collection of probate inventories, existing primary and secondary literature and oral testimonies, alongside an examination of structures and features in the present landscape. Analysis reveals the diverse nature of the landscape of the parish. It exhibits varying patterns of landownership, enclosure, field systems, land use and settlement. Research shows that in some instances experiences mirror those exhibited by neighbouring parishes: for example with regard to the enclosure of open arable lands, the rise of dairy farming and the emergence of settlement in areas of former woodland. Overall, this research demonstrates the importance of landownership during the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries in influencing the extent of landscape change. Landowner involvement affected field systems, farm size, land use, settlements and emerging transport networks. Research shows that single landownership of a township has often led to landscape change, whereas change has occurred more slowly, or has been inhibited, in areas exhibiting multiple landownership. This study reveals that during the twentieth century the role of the dominant landowner as a major influence on the landscape has been superseded by local government planning departments. Although subject to landowner involvement, the importance of transport developments in understanding landscape change is also highlighted. In addition to enhancing our knowledge of the rural landscape of north Shropshire, this research project reveals that through its varying patterns of landownership, field systems and settlements, the parish of Baschurch is a microcosm of the west midlands and borderlands landscape as a whole.
    • The charitable work of the Macclesfield silk manufacturers, 1750-1900

      Gaunt, Peter; Lewis, Chris; Starkey, Pat; Griffiths, Sarah J. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2006-04)
      The existing literature on philanthropic effort during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has taken a number of different approaches to the subject. These include general works charting the development of the charitable sector, the exploration of voluntary organisations as a subsidiary topic to broader themes and regional studies adopting a range of perspectives. Most research in this latter category has been conducted on large towns and cities that generally have copious amounts of source material. In contrast, lesser provincial towns have received relatively little scholarly attention, despite the more manageable nature of their documentation. The aim of this thesis is to explore the growth of charitable organisations within Macclesfield, an East Cheshire industrial town that was dominated by the silk industry. This study concentrates on the period from 1750 to 1900, when the silk industry was dominant within the town and philanthropic activity was at its height. The town’s silk manufacturers were renowned for their charitable work and thus this research focuses on the extent to which this occupational group was critical in the development of Macclesfield’s voluntary institutions, the motives that lay behind their contributions, and their achievements. In order to see whether their involvement was typical of other businessmen, comparisons are drawn throughout with the charitable activities of contemporary entrepreneurs in a variety of urban settings. This study investigates the silk manufacturers’ participation in Macclesfield’s voluntary institutions in the fields of religion, education, public services and public amenities, together with any additional charitable acts. The evidence from all these areas suggests that in most cases the silk manufacturers were heavily involved in funding and managing these institutions. Their obvious motives reflected altruistic, religious and educational beliefs, but there were also a variety of other concerns that could have been contributory in determining their support for particular institutions. The primary achievement of Macclesfield’s voluntary sector was to provide a network of services that, in conjunction with later state initiatives, improved living standards for inhabitants by the end of the nineteenth century. This thesis gives an insight into the development of charitable institutions in a medium sized industrial town and demonstrates how one group of businessmen were able to dominate this field. Many silk manufacturers were generous in their support of charitable causes in Macclesfield, but the scale of their support did not match that of some other notable philanthropic families, such as the Crossleys of Halifax. The charitable work of the silk manufacturers appeared to be broadly similar to that of entrepreneurs in other small and medium sized industrial towns where they could form a dominant occupational group in public life. In larger towns and cities, this strong manufacturer influence was less evident and a greater range of other people contributed significantly to philanthropic institutions. This type of approach supplements the existing material on philanthropic effort during the long nineteenth century and overlaps a number of related subject areas, such as urban élite activity and the growth of the welfare state.
    • The primitivist missiology of Anthony Norris Groves (1795-1853): A radical influence on nineteenth-century Protestant mission

      Partridge, Christopher; Dann, Robert B. (University of Liverpool (University College Chester), 2006-05)
      With the publication of his tract Christian Devotedness in 1825, Anthony Morris Groves joined a growing network of Protestants in the United Kingdom who aspired to follow the teaching of Christ and the example of his apostles in a more literal fashion than was common in the churches of their day. Seceding from the Anglican communion in 1828, he adopted a consciously non-denominational identity. With little interest in buildings, services, finances, organisation, training or ceremony, he developed an essentially primitivist ecclesiology, regarding the principles and practice of the early churches in the New Testament as a model to be followed by every generation. A number of Groves's closest friends became leading figures in circles soon to be known as Brethren, or Plymouth Brethren. After leaving Britain in 1829, his ongoing influence in this movement was mediated largely through his brother-in-law George Mtiller, and is reflected in the principles adopted by the latter in his church leadership and in his support of missionaries for more than half a century. One of those influenced by Miiller was the young Hudson Taylor, whose financial support during his early years came almost entirely from Groves's personal friends among the Brethren. It was overseas that Groves himself spent most of his adult life, and in India that we see the clearest practical outworking of his ecclesiology in a cross-cultural context. Identifying weaknesses in existing missionary institutions, he offered an alternative strategy for appointing missionaries, creating churches, maintaining practical unity and stimulating indigenous leadership. His missiological ideas stand in contrast to the consensus of his day, and also to the methods of indigenisation advocated some fourteen years later by Henry Venn and Rufus Anderson. Indeed, he might be described as the first major primitivist among mission strategists, and as such was an early forerunner of Roland Alien. Groves encouraged young Indian Christians to ignore Western church tradition and to follow, as closely as possible, the teaching and practice of Christ and his apostles. He advocated the liberty of indigenous Christians to take responsibility without reference to foreign organisations, the freedom of missionaries and Indian believers to seek guidance and provision directly from God, the sending of evangelists by congregations, the gathering of converts into new congregations, the development of local leadership in the course of active Christian service, and the partnership of industrialist and evangelist in frugal living "by faith" for the extension of the gospel. He viewed education, commerce and medicine as aids to evangelising rather than civilising. Above all, Groves wished to simplify the missionary task of the Church. Where his contemporaries envisaged the creation by one institution (a foreign mission) of another institution (a national church), he drew no distinction between mission and church. And rather than projecting an eventual shift from foreign government, support and propagation to self-government, support and propagation, he would start with no organised government, support or propagation at all, expecting these to develop naturally as local believers helped one another develop their own spiritual abilities and ministries. With no organisation to oversee, no buildings to maintain, no salaries to pay, his emphasis from the start was on the freedom of local converts to meet together without foreign supervision, and to preach the gospel to their own people without being trained, authorised or paid to do so. The influence of Groves on his own and subsequent generations has been seriously underrated. This may be attributable partly to the opposition he encountered during his own lifetime, partly to the commercial failures that clouded his final years, and partly to the inaccessibility of his own writings and works about him. Described twenty years ago as a "neglected missiologist", and largely unknown today, his significance might seem somewhat negligible, but to Groves we can trace back ideas that stimulated the birth of a new generation of missions following what have been called "faith principles". These included Brethren initiatives in many countries in addition to numerous interdenominational "faith missions" inspired by the example of Hudson Taylor. With some justification, Groves has been called the "father of faith missions". Nevertheless, his idea of using the New Testament as a practical manual of missionary methods was taken up with greatest effect not by Anglo-American missionaries but by the leaders of some remarkable indigenous movements. Notable among these was his own disciple John Christian Arulappan and, at a later date, Bakht Singh and Watchman Nee, all of whom had direct or indirect links with him. Our research concludes that the primitivist missiology of Anthony Norris Groves exerted a significant radical influence on Protestant mission in the nineteenth century, and indeed to the present day, for his ideas find many points of contact with current missiological thinking.
    • The gaze and subjectivity in fin de siècle Gothic fiction

      Baker, Brian; Foster, Paul G. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2007-03-19)
      This thesis is concerned with the importance of the gaze in fin-de-siecle Gothic. One of the ways in which the importance of the gaze manifests itself is in the central role of the onlooker like Enfield, Utterson or Lanyon in Robert Louis Stevenson's Stange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), Prendick In H.G. Well's Island of Dr Moreau (1896), or Harker in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897). As their appelation suggests, Wells's Beast Men confound the distinction between the human and the animal, which is also the case with 'Beast Men' like Hyde and Dracula. A central concern of the thisis is the perceptual drama that is involved in looking at the spectacle of the monstrous body, for excample, as the onlooker struggles to get to grips with the challenge to representation posed by these 'Beast Men'.
    • The Conservative party in north-east Wales, 1906-1924

      Smith, Jeremy; Williams, Thomas W. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2008-12)
      Between 1906 and 1924 the Conservative party only won three parliamentary elections in North-east Wales - the Denbigh Boroughs division twice in 1910 and the county seat in Flintshire in 1924. Conversely the Liberal party won all the other elections throughout the period, with the exception of Wrexham which fell to Labour in 1922 and 1923. This, however, says more about the vagaries of the British 'first past the post' electoral system than it does about the true strength of the political parties in the region. Indeed, between 1906 and 1924 the Conservative party never averaged below 39 per cent of the electorate in the constituencies it contested. Given this impressive but unrecognised electoral position, what this study set out to do was to analyse the strength of Conservatism in a region where failure was the norm. The period was chosen because it saw the last Liberal administration in this country, and marked the start of the Conservative dominance of government for much of the twentieth century. It also saw one of the biggest cultural and social upheavals in British history with the advent of the First World War, and witnessed the enfranchisement of women for the first time. The general election of 1906 returned no Conservatives for Wales. In North Wales a conference was called to examine the situation and evaluate future prospects. This led to a review of party organisation in the region, the intention being not only to attract more working class people and women, but also to lessen the autocratic domination by the landed classes. In 1910 the Conservatives won the Denbigh Boroughs constituency with a large swing against the Liberals, and came very close to winning the Flint Boroughs by-election of 1913. The period of War, 1914-1918, saw all political parties moth-balled until the end of hostilities, but during the period of Coalition Government from 1918 to 1922 in which Liberal representation went almost unchallenged in North-east Wales, the Conservatives reorganised their Constituency Associations. By 1924 the landed domination of the party had diminished significantly, and in Flintshire the Conservatives won their first seat in an industrial working class area. Underpinning this success was a long-standing popular support, which after 1906 was better organised and mobilised for the Conservative cause through a variety of loosely attached organisations, societies and clubs. The Primrose League, an organisation that had been founded in 1883 to rally Conservative support, had a very high membership in the region compared to the rest of Wales. For example, the Denbigh Primrose League had over 800 members in 1912. A network of Conservative clubs existed in the region and as early as 1905 a thriving Workingmen's Association had been founded in Wrexham. The Conservative party was also well represented in local government; in Flintshire between 1907 and 1913 it had more county councillors than the Liberal party. In addition, the upheaval of War and the attraction of socialism to the newly enfranchised masses meant that the Conservative party had to widen its appeal to those people who had acquired the vote in 1918. By recruiting women and working class members the Conservative party was able to lay the foundations for a number of parliamentary successes in North-east Wales that lasted until the 1990s. It is therefore the contention of this thesis that the Conservative party not only survived a very difficult period, but that it emerged a strengthened and invigorated force.
    • The Irish in north-east Wales 1851 to 1881

      Swift, Roger; Jones, Peter (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 2002-01)
      This study derives from the interest of recent years in the Irish during the late Victorian period in the smaller towns of Britain. Much work has been done on the Irish in the larger conurbations of industrial England and Scotland, particularly in the 1830s and 1840s - work that has overshadowed the experience of the Irish elsewhere, skewing the historiography and locking the migrants into a huddled mass in a northern city. However, the 'Wild Milesians' of Thomas Carlyle, living cheek-by-jowl with Engels's pig in the slums of Liverpool and Manchester, have come to be seen as less than typical of the Irish, especially the second and third generations of the migrants living in provincial towns. Furthermore, the representation of the Irish as uniformly poor, wretched and Catholic has been revised. Again, the phenomenon of 'ethnic fade' was assumed to have occurred as the nineteenth century progressed, so that after the initial troubled years, the Irish merged with the 'host' population. However, differing rates and degrees of assimilation have been revealed; indeed, religious and political differences among the Irish themselves, frequently violent in their expression, were often defining characteristics of Irishness. Following in the footsteps of micro - studies of the Irish in the regions and smaller towns, this study aims to examine the experience of the Irish in the later nineteenth century in an area hitherto neglected in the historiography, namely, North-East Wales, with particular reference to the towns of Wrexham, Mold, Holywell and Flint.