• Pauline Slave Welfare Ethics in Historical Context: An Equality Analysis

      Bennema, Cornelis; Holland, Tom; Thompson, William H P (University of Chester, 2021-05)
      While many assume that human equality is incompatible with slavery, equality theorists argue that any equality claim must be further defined. They also claim that every coherent ethical system presupposes an implied equality and inequality when it requires “identical” treatment for those it considers similar enough and “different” treatment for others it views as dissimilar. This thesis deploys a heuristic equality analysis to distinguish between the different kinds of equality that may be implied by a text’s ethical reasoning—a text’s equality ethic. It distinguishes between an egalitarianism that seeks to eliminate certain differences between persons; the “identical” treatment of “numerically-equal” persons regardless of those differences; the “variable” treatment, proportionate to a particular attribute, of persons who share that attribute to a variable degree; and “different” treatment between persons who are deemed dissimilar because of those differences. The equality analysis in this thesis on slavery compares how slaves and free persons were treated in antiquity. It demonstrates how Pauline scholarship on slavery neither defines nor consistently reasons about equality. While scholarship has stressed Pauline exhortations for slave obedience, the thesis focuses on scholarship’s neglect of Paul’s exhortations for slave welfare. The thesis reconstructs the equality reasoning of Paul’s possible ethical sources—Aristotelian natural slavery, Seneca’s slave welfare, the Torah’s slave welfare texts (Exod 21; Deut 5:12–15; 15:12–18; 21:10–17; 23:15–16; 24:7; Lev 19:20–22; 25), and Philo. The thesis reconstructs a Jewish numerically equal treatment ethic between slave and free that imitates Yahweh’s impartiality, and demonstrates its best conceptual fit for Paul’s slave welfare ethics. The thesis justifies Paul’s inclusion of the slavery pair in his unification formula of Gal 3:28 and argues that Paul’s unification formulae (also 1 Cor 12:13; Col 3:11) imply the numerically equal treatment of their ethnic and slavery pairs. The thesis argues that Paul’s exhortations for slave welfare in the Colossian and Ephesian Haustafeln (Col 4:1; Eph 6:9) place the Jewish numerically equal treatment and imitation ethic into a Christological framework that urges slave-masters to imitate how God is impartial between slave and free in their treatment of their slaves. The thesis also argues that Paul’s twofold purpose in composing his epistle to Philemon was to urge Onesimus’s inclusion within Philemon’s pre-existing slavery ethos, which was already compliant with Paul’s ethics on slave welfare, and for Philemon to send Onesimus back to Paul. Paul did not need to specify a new slave welfare ethic for Philemon to adopt.
    • Faithful science: Teaching intelligent design to Evangelical students

      Fulford, Ben; McKitterick, Alistair J. (University of Chester, 2021-01-03)
      This research project addressed the question ‘to what extent, if at all, does teaching intelligent design to evangelical students contribute to their confidence and ability to share their faith?’ The context of the professional doctorate is my role as an evangelical theology lecturer at Moorlands College. The problem that motivated the research was feedback from students relating their Christian faith to questions and objections presented to them in their ministry context about science generally and Darwinism in particular. I locate the intelligent design argument within the broader debate over the relationship between science and religion. Intelligent design is an expression of concordism, the most integrative of Tenneson et al’s paradigms (conflict, compartmentalism, complementarianism, and concordism). The approach adopted for this professional doctorate was Norton’s pedagogical action research and Osmer’s model of practical theology. During the first cycle of action research, I piloted the Discovering Intelligent Design course covering a range of scientific topics supporting the design argument for full-time students on campus. The second action research cycle involved teaching the course again as a more formal Saturday School event for part-time evangelical students off campus. Eight participants took part in semi-structured interviews, and a further seven formed a focus group. I undertook thematic analysis of the interview transcripts and triangulated the results with the focus group transcript. The narrative analysis of participant responses described the pressure felt from the hegemony of a materialist worldview that presented Darwinism as ‘fact’, especially within a school environment. Participants felt the DID course enabled them to challenge the dominance of that worldview with scientific evidence supporting a theistic worldview. They believed there was a need to think about the relationship between science and faith within the church to equip young people to retain their Christian faith. I initiated a cycle of Osmer’s model of practical theology to reflect christologically on the thematic analysis and generate theologically-laden praxis. These themes were critically correlated within Osmer’s sagely wisdom phase to understand more deeply what was going on. Critical insights were gained through transdisciplinary reflection including discourse analysis, sociology and philosophy of scientific worldviews, critical consciousness and political hegemony, forces of marginalization, and anti-teleological child-psychology. The democratic, liberative nature of teaching intelligent design was framed as ‘common science’. An important theological disclosure was identified in Osmer’s prophetic discernment phase: teaching intelligent design was discerned as teaching a contemporary parable and an extension of Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God. Like the parable of the sower, intelligent design provokes different reactions; it empowers the marginalized and challenges institutional power that denies God’s presence and power. The revised praxis of Osmer’s servant leadership phase included locating teaching intelligent design within a broader biblical ministry, identifying the conflict between materialistic and theistic worldviews rather than between science and faith, communicating this transformed perspective at conferences to encourage churches to engage more with science, and developing intelligent design as part of an apologetics module. Support was offered for the CoRE policy to restructure RE classes as ‘Religion and Worldviews’, and a development of the DID course to teach others to lead it was proposed as an expression of proclaiming the kingdom of God and sowing seed on good soil.
    • Protectoral Rule in the North Western Association: the role and consequence of military and civil governance in the north west of England 1655 to 1657

      Gaunt, Peter; Williams, David A. (University of Chester, 2021)
      This thesis is a study of the role and consequence of military and civil governance in the Protectoral government’s North Western Association. It seeks to understand how the creation of the association contributed to the security and maintenance of unopposed Protectoral rule. It examines the impact on traditional structures of local government and communities within the association. Ultimately, it shows that uninterrupted control over the association’s regions contributed to the continued stability of Cromwell’s Protectorate. The first chapter examines North Western society’s religious and political allegiances in the aftermath of the civil wars and finds that, while the parish continued to play a prominent role within the community, some political adversaries of the same ascribed social status within county society continued to maintain pre-war social relationships. Chapter two assesses the role and impact of state imposed martial governance within the association and finds that central government’s policy of promoting godly reform to counter irreligion reaffirmed measures previously pursued by godly officials and magistrates. The third chapter examines the backgrounds and careers of the association’s two major-generals, Charles Worsley and Tobias Bridge, and finds that, before his death, Worsley was the driving force behind the instigation of measures to deal with anti-government activities and godly reformation. Finding that the association’s three county militias were wholly remodelled in 1655, chapter four assesses their reorganisation and role, along with that of the regime appointed commissioners for securing the peace of the Commonwealth, as well as the work of the magistracy. Chapter five considers the efficacy of raising revenues through sequestration and finds that more than sufficient funds were raised by way of the levied decimation tax to maintain the association’s three new troops of horse militia. The sixth chapter examines the parliamentary election campaign of 1656 and considers its relevance to the Northern anti-government rising staged by Sir George Booth in August 1659. It finds that many of the same protagonists at the centre of the election campaign of August 1656 were also at the heart of the events of Booth’s rising. The thesis concludes that the imposition of military governance ensured that stable unopposed Protectoral rule was maintained throughout the life of the North Western Association and that Tobias Bridge’s oversight of the association lasted well into 1658.
    • The Literary Places of Mary Cholmondeley and Mary Webb: Women Walking and Interacting with the Shropshire Countryside

      Wynne, Deborah; Walker, Naomi (University of Chester, 2020-11)
      This thesis will demonstrate the importance of Mary Cholmondeley’s and Mary Webb’s novels, short stories, poetry and essays by showing their part in the literary heritage of Shropshire. Both writers drew on their experiences of living in Shropshire villages for their inspiration. This thesis will highlight the significance of the work of these now little-known authors and will draw attention to the feminist arguments which were implicit in their work. By highlighting the instances of women walking and interacting with the countryside in their short stories and novels, I will show that both authors indicated the necessity for greater rights for women in society in the early part of the twentieth century. The independent and freethinking heroines who feature in their novels and short stories provide important feminist representations which deserve greater visibility in studies of this period. As such, this thesis will be useful to scholars studying New Woman writers and their depictions of women. By stressing the influence of Shropshire on each author’s work, I hope that they will stand comparison with A.E. Housman, whose poetry is influenced by that region. This thesis will provide a critical study of Cholmondeley and Webb and I have produced a number of G.I.S. maps to emphasise the connection they had with Shropshire. These provide an alternative way to study their work. This online and accessible resource should engage new audiences to their work. The Introduction to the thesis will set out the connections that both writers had with the county. It will also provide an overview of critical texts associated with Space and Place studies that have influenced my research, as well as relating Cholmondeley and Webb to some of the other women writers who were writing at the same time. Chapter One focusses on Cholmondeley’s writing, arguing that her work displays an implicit feminism. She depicts heroines walking and interacting with the countryside in both her novels and short stories as part of her argument that women desired more independence in the early part of the twentieth century. This chapter also assesses the influence of Shropshire on Cholmondeley’s work and argues that, even when living away from the county, it had a great impact on her writing. Chapter Two will show that, whilst Mary Webb’s connection to Shropshire has already been well established, few academic studies have been written about her work. I argue that, by portraying the mobility of women within the rural landscape in her novels, poetry, essays and short stories, she addresses the larger political issue of women’s rights. This chapter also analyses the work of many of the literary pilgrims who visited Shropshire specifically in search of the places that inspired Webb’s writing in order to show the unhelpful ways in which they have mythologised her life and work. Chapter Three will analyse the G.I.S. maps which I have produced in order to argue that mapping can lead to a greater insight into the work of these two authors. It will also point out the growing use of interactive technology in contemporary literature studies. Links to my G.I.S. maps, and more information about them, can be found in the Appendix to my thesis. The Conclusion demonstrates the continuing legacy of Cholmondeley and Webb in order to stress their importance, not only to the literary landscape of Shropshire, but also to the wider literary culture.
    • Reading Across the Human-Animal Boundary: The Animalising Affliction of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4

      Collins, Matthew A.; Atkins, Peter J. (University of Chester, 2020-10)
      A major aspect of the narrative in Daniel 4 is the imagery employed to describe the affliction received by Nebuchadnezzar when he is driven from his throne. It is plain that as part of his affliction he will live as an animal, however the degree to which he actually becomes an animal is less clear. This unusual depiction of the king’s affliction has intrigued numerous subsequent readers and has provoked two predominant lines of interpretation: either that Nebuchadnezzar undergoes a physical metamorphosis of some kind into an animal form; or diverse other ways of reading the text that specifically preclude or deny an animal transformation of the king. This thesis addresses such bifurcation of interpretative opinion about Nebuchadnezzar’s affliction, examining why such interpretation is so divided and demonstrating ultimately how neither of these traditional interpretations best reflect the narrative events in Daniel 4. Firstly, I survey the range of previous interpretations of Nebuchadnezzar’s affliction and how they can broadly be grouped into these two general trends. I examine in detail the various texts and forms of the narrative to show how metamorphic interpretations of Daniel 4 are largely reliant upon later developments within the textual tradition and are not present in the earliest edition of Nebuchadnezzar’s animalising affliction. However, while the various editions of Daniel 4 seem to contain no explicit evidence that a metamorphosis was ever intended, I also show that it is equally inadequate to state that the king does not undergo an animal transformation at all. Turning to the wider ancient Near Eastern context of the Danielic narrative, I examine a range of Mesopotamian texts which appear to conceive of the human-animal boundary as being indicated primarily in relation to possession or lack of the divine characteristic of wisdom. Demonstrating how various Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Jewish texts appear to reflect the same conceptual idea, I argue that the narrative in Daniel 4, through the king’s loss of reason, in fact represents a far more significant categorical change from human to animal than has hitherto been recognised. This thesis therefore demonstrates that both traditional readings of Nebuchadnezzar’s animalising affliction are inadequate. Read instead in the context of this the narrative of Daniel 4 describes a more subtle yet much more profound crossing of the human-animal boundary.
    • The Dilemma of Chaplaincy to Chieftaincy in Ghana for Pentecostal Denominations

      Dyer, Anne E.; Sainsbury, Susan; Goodwin, Leigh; Routledge, Robin; Yidana, Gabriel N. (University of Chester, 2020-10)
      The lack of Pentecostal denominational ministry with chieftaincy in Ghana is a missional challenge, and it is an area that is under-researched. In order to address the dilemma of Christian chaplaincy to chieftaincy, a thorough investigation into the relationship between Christianity and chieftaincy is necessary for the formulation and implementation of missional policies. This dissertation uses a historical account with a qualitative research approach in the present, to examine whether chaplains can be appointed to the Institution of Chieftaincy (IoC) and how that might work. Starting from a position of opposition to involvement with the IoC in the early 20th Century there was no way Pentecostals would participate in then pagan perceived rituals. So, it is revolutionary to suggest that Pentecostals can become chiefs and yet now many are, so that there are Christian chiefs’ associations. Therefore, my proposal is a practical one: to offer chaplaincy like ministry to chiefs, Christian or not, from a Pentecostal position so as to have a missional support from churches to chiefs’ councils and thus to the community. I interviewed 50 participants from Christian and traditional leaders to determine their experience and view of Christian ministry to the IoC. The data were analysed using thematic analysis that revealed three global themes: Perceptions of the IoC; Role of chaplaincy in transforming the IoC; Calls for chaplaincy involvement in chieftaincy; along with thirteen organizing themes and twenty-one basic themes. According to the data, chaplaincy could facilitate bridging the gap between both institutions through the provision of spiritual care and expressed the need for active Christian participation with chieftaincy. In order to facilitate chaplaincy as a missional practice to the IoC, the following recommendations are made, that: there is a need for developing a) biblical alternatives relating to chieftaincy cultural practices as seen from the data; b) a theology of chieftaincy; c) a theology of both the anointing for leadership for chiefs and kings and d) the role of chaplains as prophets and priests to chiefs.
    • 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’.
    • 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.
    • Mission in Suburbia: Theological Resources to Empower Missional Practice Within Small, Suburban Congregations

      Wilson, Keith G. (University of Chester, 2020-09-10)
      The practice of mission within small, suburban congregations has been widely overlooked by academic and Church institutions. Marginalised by their cultural context and struggling to maintain an already weak position, such churches could be dismissed as having little to offer contemporary missiology. This research believes that small, suburban congregations have an important missional role that, once resourced, is of value to the wider Church. The aim of this research is to reflect upon theological resources which could empower missional practice within small, suburban congregations. This reflection adopted a cyclical process of theological reflection. This reflective cycle or ‘Doing Theology Spiral’ used experience, reflection, exploration and action to create an ongoing pattern for missional reflection. This research began with an analysis of the missional experiences of selected small, suburban congregations. The gathered data highlighted aspects of the missional experiences of these congregations such as varied understandings of mission and tensions regarding the context for missional practice. In addition, the perceived strengths of such congregations were not commonly regarded as missional assets. This data was compared to published research. In the literature review, the practice of mission has received sustained attention over a long period. However, the mission of small, suburban congregations in Britain was largely absent from contemporary missiological debates. A range of theological resources were considered. The resources were regarded as important to the missional practice of congregations but, frequently overlooked or undervalued. These included context, activism, social action, and a sense of belonging. The sense of missional crisis suggested a need for other theological resources, notably missio Dei and a focus on the mission of God. This research discovered that a radical re-interpretation of missional practice within small, suburban congregations is required to challenge widespread stagnation and decline. In this research, it emerged that congregations required greater clarity and confidence regarding the theological resources available to them which could empower their missional practice.
    • The Heirloom Factor Revisited: Curated Objects and Social Memory in Early Medieval Mortuary Practices

      Williams, Howard; Costello, Brian (University of Chester, 2020-09-10)
      In the early 20th century, Baldwin Brown’s investigation of early Anglo-Saxon burials stated that the low ratio of deposited swords was likely caused by the inheritance of the weapon by a family member. This became known as the heirloom factor and has been a generally accepted summary of early AngloSaxon curation ever since. Chronologically older material culture originating from the early medieval period, however, has been consistently noticed within burials but overall neglected. Instead, researchers have focused on the reuse and recycling of Roman and Iron Age artefacts in early medieval furnished inhumation graves. Heirlooms, however, are biographical objects, imbued with the stories and events in which they had been present. Heirlooms from the early medieval period would have a known biography to their owners, families and wider social networks, whereas the biographical history of Roman or Iron Age objects would have been lost and unknown. Furthermore, the mortuary deposition of older objects would likely have made them noticeable and significant effect as a mnemonic device of social remembrance by participants and audiences. This thesis implemented an original combination of methods to contextually identify curated objects, or heirlooms, within the early medieval burials of Kent. The study subsequently interprets their roles in terms of social remembrance during the funerary rituals. Evidence from both archaeological and historical sources have indicated that swords and brooches were socially significant and distinct objects, presenting them as likely candidates as possible heirloom status objects. Early medieval cemeteries of Kent (5th–7th centuries AD) were chosen for this study because of the higher ratios of the number of swords and types of brooches found within burials compared to other areas of early Anglo-Saxon England. Kent is also the region where the first written laws are recorded in the beginning of the 7th century AD, with certain codes directly involving the inheritance of property. The study also responds to recent work on Kent’s graves in terms of grave re-opening. This research has analysed 1743 graves from 20 cemeteries in Kent to identify curation characteristics of either swords or brooches. Graves containing these objects were analysed for a series of characteristics to decipher chronological disparities within the entire grave context. This thesis has discovered that the deposition of curated objects within early Anglo-Saxon Kentish burials was a rare but discernible practice in which known biographical objects were utilised for several different funerary reasons. Swords and brooches were significant objects chosen to continue their circulation within a family or kin group for a period prior to their inclusion within a grave. A number of swords, however, have provided evidence that pieces of their hilts were likely inherited and continued while the rest of the sword, such as the blade, was included within a burial. The thesis argues that these practices facilitated the social remembrance of the significant weapon to be present during the funeral, as well as continuing its biography through its hilt fittings within the community. It has also been interpreted that the deposition of older brooches within subadult burials provides evidence of the effort to bolster the idealised identity of the deceased during the funeral or negotiate the relations between familial or kin groups. As the 5th—7th centuries AD were a period of social stratification, the utilisation of heirlooms within furnished burials has been found as a strategy to significantly influence the social remembrance of the mourners present at a funeral.
    • Cosmopolitan Practical Theology and the Impact of the Norming of Whiteness on Chapel Cosmopolitanism

      Knowles, Steve; Graham, Elaine; Cameron, Helen D.; Marsh, Jill (University of Chester, 2020-09-10)
      In the context of increasing cosmopolitanism across the UK many church congregations are becoming increasingly ethnically diverse, creating what I am calling ‘chapel cosmopolitanism’. This lived experience of congregations calls for a Cosmopolitan Practical Theology. I use Nowicka and Rovisco’s definition (2009:2) of cosmopolitanism as “A practice which is apparent in things that people do and say to positively engage with the ‘otherness of the other’”. From my professional experience I outline the factors that make a Cosmopolitan Practical Theology and argue for a positive engagement with the ‘otherness of the other’ in order to live out the Gospel imperative to ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. In an ethnographic study of the chapel cosmopolitanism of one particular church, I observed the complex layers of interpersonal dynamics within one congregation. In particular I engaged with the work of Marti (2010) on ‘havens’, and also the work of Jagessar (2015) on ‘intercultural habit’, observing the inter-play between the needs for both of these practices. Using a multi-method approach I began to notice the reluctance of older White participants who chose not to be interviewed. While recognizing the need for both ‘havens’ and ‘intercultural habit’ my fieldwork data showed me that, while all my participants had these two needs, yet the need for havens of their own was not recognized by many of my White participants. This White privileging of their own experience as the ‘norm’ prevented the ‘mutual inconveniencing’ that Jagessar considers to be an essential component of intercultural habit. After consideration of the impact of the invisibility of White privilege within this particular congregation, I conclude that the norming of Whiteness becomes an obstruction to the development of a Cosmopolitan Practical Theology. In my conclusion I spell out some of the implications of my research for church life, Practical Theology and my own practice.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • How could the British Methodist Church preach more effectively on domestic abuse as part of its prophetic witness?

      Graham, Elaine; Morris, Wayne; Conradie, Lynita (University of Chester, 2019-08)
      In 2005 the British Methodist Conference adopted a comprehensive report dealing with domestic abuse, acknowledging it as a worldwide phenomenon. The Report contains general information on domestic abuse, as well as a theological reflection and recommendations as to how the Church might respond to this pandemic. A recurring phrase in the Report is that the Church’s “prophetic voice” must be heard, that the Church must speak out against domestic abuse. However, the meaning and scope of such “prophetic voice” is not explained nor adequately clarified. This Report forms the policy framework within which this thesis is situated, with specific reference to the Church’s ‘prophetic voice’, or ‘prophetic witness’. Even though the church has been by and large silent on domestic abuse, there are ways in which this silence can be broken; and the Church needs to respond to the challenge in a practical way. This thesis argues that one of the ways in which this ‘prophetic voice’ might be heard is by preaching to congregations on domestic abuse in the context of worship. One such source of prophetic preaching is biblical prophecy, derived from both the Hebrew prophets and Jesus of Nazareth. These prophets created what Walter Brueggemann terms the ‘prophetic imagination’, which serves as counter-voice to the dominant voices of power, exploitation and injustice. This thesis contends that contemporary preachers should exercise a prophetic witness by speaking out against domestic abuse, although, as the data collected from the preachers interviewed demonstrate, there is a hesitation and, to some extent, a reluctance to preach on domestic abuse. One way in which preaching can harness the prophetic imagination is by viewing preaching as a theological practice characterised by “lament, truth-telling and resistance”, terminology adapted from Christine Smith’s triad of “weeping, confession and resistance” (1992). The role of preaching as lament is to weep in solidarity with those who suffer, but also to listen to the unheard voices of those who are the victims of domestic abuse. Truth-telling exposes the reality of 8 domestic abuse and names it as a sin, as well as telling the truth about patriarchy, which is one of the root causes of domestic abuse. Preaching as resistance entails the rejection of patriarchy and violence. A transformation comes about when scripture is read, using a feminist hermeneutic, which exposes the patriarchal nature of the Bible and how this has been used to justify the subordination of women. Ultimately, the aim of preaching is both to persuade and transform listeners, through the exercise of a practical theological prophetic imagination that envisions a world in which there is no violence.
    • 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.
    • 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 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.