• 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 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 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.
    • 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 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'.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Intimacy between men in modern women's writing

      Stephenson, William; Woledge, Elizabeth (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2005-08)
      This thesis sets out to investigate, and concludes by defining, a genre of modern women's writing. This genre, which 1 have called 'intimatopia' for its depiction of fictional worlds which centre around intimacy, explores close relationships between men, I use this thesis to elucidate the ideological assumptions which underlie this genre, as well as to consider the textual features which are commonly used to support them. My investigation is facilitated by my choice to focus on the appropriative fictions which form a significant part of the intimatopic genre. The appropriative text is particularly apposite to any project which, like this one, seeks to investigate distinctive ideologies, for in a comparison between the text and its source the ideological perspectives of the writer can be glimpsed. As a result of this approach one of the central features of this thesis is a comparison between hegemonic and intimatopic ideologies, which are found to be markedly different. Central to the intimatopic text, which may be sexually explicit, sexually discreet, or sexually ambiguous, is the assumption that there exists a fluid link between love, friendship and intimacy. This ideological perspective is one which many theoreticians, in fields as diverse as literary criticism, psychology and biology, have connected to feminine, rather than masculine, ways of thinking. Although it is therefore unsurprising to find that this is a feature of a predominantly feminine genre, its application to relationships between men runs counter to ideological assumptions about masculine interaction. From examining a variety of appropriative literature 1 move on to less overtly appropriative texts in which the by now familiar intimatopic features can be identified. Following this, 1 discuss the interpretive communities which produce intimatopic texts, using the example of slash fiction, where the interpretive community is readily accessible, I begin to investigate the ideological assumptions about human interaction which underpin the interpretations typical of intimatopic writing. Finally, I consider the genre's antecedents, and mention other texts which, although they do not take male intimacy as their theme, nonetheless share intimatopic features. Thus this thesis offers an insight into an area of women's writing which has received little critical attention and which I have been able to crystallise into the genre of intimatopia. Whilst it is clearly inaccurate to describe all women's writing as intimatopic, this genre accounts for a significant number of texts by women and should be recognised alongside other feminine genres as part of the varied field of women's literature.
    • 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.
    • 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.