• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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'.
    • 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 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 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.
    • An interrogation of the selfishness paradigm in sociobiology including its explanations of altruism and a response to its interpretation of New Testament love

      Deane-Drummond, Celia; Goddard, Lisa M. D. (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 2007-11)
      This thesis is a response to the sociobiological paradigm which sees all aspects of life as fundamentally 'selfish'. This view is built upon two concepts, firstly, that the evolutionary process of natural selection leads to a world characterised by 'selfish' genes and 'selfish' individual organisms. Secondly, that all aspects of human nature, including benevolence, are defined by natural selection and are consequently selfish in motivation also. In Chapter 2, the first of these ideas is shown as inappropriate, not least, because selection favours genes that 'cooperate' and individuals that 'sacrificially' expend themselves in producing offspring. In Chapter 3, the second concept is discounted as only some aspects of human behaviour and culture can be explained in terms of natural selection. These points are central to the discussions on 'altruism' in Chapters 4-6. While sociobiologists have rightly noted that kin and reciprocal forms of 'altruism' occur in nature and in human society, their rendering of them in terms of genetic and individual 'selfishness' is again entirely misleading. The arguments of some sociobiologists for group selected forms of 'altruism' in nature and human culture are shown as unconvincing. Further, the sociobiological contention that human benevolence is constrained to the aiding of kin, reciprocal partners and group members is also countered. Humans exhibit the capacity to care for those outside of these sociobiological categories. Moreover, rather than being primarily selfish in motivation, humans are both more altruistic and more egoistic than the sociobiological view can accommodate. Chapter 7 considers the sociobiological interpretation of the New Testament (NT) teachings on love as selfishly concerned only with the care of kin, reciprocators and group members. This view is largely acceded to by the theologian, Stephen Pope, while another, Patrfcia Williams, has argued that the NT directly strives to counter such innate forms of behaviour. Chapters 8-10 investigate some of the NT teachings on love and argue for a more profound and complex altruism than any of these views. Chapter 8 contends that NT love is a deeply humble and sacrificial altruism where the needs of the other are placed before those of the self; one that is patterned after the example of Christ. It is a radical altruism, which as Chapter 9 argues, encompasses kin but also goes beyond this category in the requirement to love the new family of believers. This love of the group, the church, is itself transcended in a love for all others. Chapter 10 argues that this NT altruism is not bound by reciprocity for it prioritises the care of the weak, those who cannot reciprocate; and extends love to enemies, those who will not reciprocate. The view that such a love is ultimately reciprocal on the grounds of its heavenly reward is countered, as the NT reward of love is the promise that the believer's capacity for self-giving love will be perfected.
    • 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 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.
    • Landownership and settlement change in south-west Cheshire from 1750 to 2000

      White, Graeme J; Gaunt, Peter; Bird, Polly (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 2007-12)
      This work analyses the impact of landownership on the physical development and other factors affecting settlements in south-west Cheshire between 1750 and 2000, seeking to demonstrate the hypothesis that landownership was the overriding influence on settlement growth or decline. To assist in this the work also addresses the related problem of how most accurately to analyse landownership in townships. It therefore presents an original methodology using the Herfmdahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) in an historical context to determine the amount of landowner concentration in a township. The use of HHI as a measure of landownership concentration (indicating the extent of large landowner control) is presented as a more accurate, easy to use, quantifiable method of analysis than the traditional distinction between 'open' and 'closed'. Following a demonstration of HHI's superiority over the traditional terms using examples in south-west Cheshire, HHI is used to analyse the effect on settlement development of landownership trends in the area. HHI is then used to analyse the effect of dominant landowners on the main population trends, transport infrastructure, farming, enclosure and twentieth-century planning and legislation in relation to settlement development in the area. HHI supports the main conclusion that decisions made by large landowners and subsequently planners in south-west Cheshire had a continuous and profound effect on settlement patterns and development from the mid-eighteenth century up to the end of the twentieth century. The intervention and influence of the major landowners and twentieth-century planners hindered settlement growth. Landowners had both a direct influence on settlement development through the buying and selling of land and an indirect influence through their role in determining the transport infrastructure and their bequest of a prevailing pattern of land use, which in turn was preserved via modern planning decisions. Following the decline of major landowners during the early twentieth century, planning laws restricted building in agricultural areas with the aim of preserving agricultural land. Analysis of land tax records in conjunction with HHI shows that although landownership consolidation took place, the number of smaller landowners was maintained and even increased in places and such building as took place was focussed on the increasing number of smaller plots. HHI also demonstrates the discernible trend that in south-west Cheshire the settlements that were the larger, more open settlements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were those that increased in size both physically and in terms of population throughout the period while the smaller closed settlements tended to stagnate or decline. Overall the research has demonstrated that settlements flourished in low HHI townships with less control by large landowners, that settlements in high HHI townships were rarely allowed to grow, and that patterns established in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were perpetuated into the late twentieth and early twenty-first century by a conservative approach to planning.
    • 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.
    • 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 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.
    • 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.