The Faculty's primary commitment is to the provision of high-quality taught programmes, fully informed by scholarship and research. The Faculty also attaches great importance to its many and varied collaborative activities (local, regional, national and international), since these conspicuously enrich the provision the Faculty is able to offer. The most recent RAE submissions for English, History and TRS have been particularly successful.

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Recent Submissions

  • Pre-Pandemic Ethics: Triage and Discrimination

    Clough, David L.; Adam, Margaret B.; University of Chester
    UK COVID-19 death rates are disproportionately high among Black African, Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Indian people in the UK, as well as among care home residents, carers, essential workers, and people living with disabilities and pre-existing conditions. The effects of the pandemic demonstrate the systemic social disparities of life and death in the UK. This is the context in which the authors consider Christian pandemic ethics, and this calls for a shift of focus away from pandemic ethics to what we term ‘pre-pandemic ethics’.
  • Le Salut Des Animaux Dans Un Contexte Chrétien: Croyances Futures Et Défis Actuels

    Clough, David L.; University of Chester (Les editions du cerf, 09-2020)
    The salvation of animals in a Christian context examining future beliefs and current challenges.
  • Were Early Medieval Lists Bureaucratic? The Whitby Abbot's Book, Folios 1r-4v

    Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester
    Since the Enlightenment, early medieval lists have been removed from their original manuscript contexts and sometimes interpreted as artefacts of royal and ecclesiastical bureaucracy. Despite critical engagement with the idea of early medieval bureaucracy and recent emphasis on the material and literary characteristics of lists, the idea of bureaucratic origins remains. This paper focuses on the Whitby Abbot’s Book, folios 1r-4v, a perhaps incomplete quire written after 1176, comprising a book list, a story of refoundation with accompanying property lists, an abbatial oath, and a story of abbatial elections including a list of monks. It uses approaches to bureaucracy, administrative history, and memory to reflect on this case study and on cultures of listing.
  • 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.
  • Screening Dissent: The Uprising of 17 June 1953 in East German Film

    Millington, Richard; University of Chester
    An analysis of how the politically sensitive subject of the anti-regime uprising of 17 June 1953 was portrayed in East German film productions.
  • The Social History of a Medieval Fish Weir, c. 600-2020

    Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester
    This paper presents the longue durée social history of a medieval fish weir. It reveals the significant role of fishing and fish weirs in the construction and reconstruction of social structures and cultural identities. It focuses on an enigmatic annual ceremony – the construction of the Horngarth or Penny Hedge at Whitby, North Yorkshire. It begins by arguing that this descends from the construction of a medieval intertidal fish weir. It then explores the possible social and cultural contexts in which it originated and the social and cultural circumstances that perpetuated its construction to the sixteenth century. It proceeds to consider the social and cultural changes that undermined its original function and transformed its significance in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, and how an invented tradition about it became important to the local identity and national reputation of the town.
  • Le roman sans aventure... Vraiment ? Quelques réflexions sur la mondialité du roman québécois

    Obergöker, Timo; University of Chester
    The present article challenges one of the major claims of Isabelle Daunais’ essay Le roman sans aventure (The novel without adventure) which states that literature from Quebec is hardly ever read beyond the boundaries of the province as its underpinning narrative pattern is what Milan Kundera in The Art of the Novel calls an idyll, a hermetic, protective environment. My contribution firstly seeks to show that the lack of reception of the Quebecois novel can be explained by the particular dichotomy separating the French-speaking literary field into “Parisian” and “Francophone” texts. Moreover, I would like to explore two Quebecois novels (Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner and La fiancée américaine by Eric Dupont) which engage with the world and with globalisation in numerous ways, thus contradicting the argumentation of the “idyll”.
  • When They Get to the Border

    Ewence, Hannah; University of Chester
    The Aliens Act of 1905 was the culmination of decades of anxiety about migrants – some of whom attempted to reach Britain by clandestine means.
  • Jesus in an age of enlightenment: Radical gospels from Thomas Hobbes to Thomas Jefferson. By Jonathan C.P Birch

    Greenaway, Jonathan; University of Chester
    A review of Jesus in an Age of Enlightenment: Radical Gospels from Thomas Hobbes to Thomas Jefferson by Jonathan C.P Birch
  • Jesus in an Age of Enlightenment: Radical Gospels from Thomas Hobbes to Thomas Jefferson. By Jonathan C.P Birch

    Greenaway, Jonathan; orcid: 0000-0001-5636-7707 (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021-02-07)
  • Translating Patịcca-samuppāda in Early Buddhism

    Jones, Dhivan Thomas; University of Chester
    This chapter addresses the issue of how to translate the term paṭicca-samuppāda, which relies on the use of Prakrit and Sanskrit grammatical forms for which there are no exact English equivalents, and which expresses a core Buddhist concept for which there is no exact philosophical equivalent outside of Buddhist teachings.
  • The appropriation of information and communication technologies by the Plymouth Brethren Christian church

    Knowles, Steve; University of Chester
    This article examines why the PBCC has adopted and adapted information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their community, given that until recently they have rejected them on theological grounds. Starting by tracing the attitudes of Brethren leaders toward emerging technologies such as the radio and television, I argue that the adoption and adaptation of technology has been necessary and fundamental in maintaining the integrity of the core belief in separation from the world, a doctrine central to the Brethren way of life. Using Silverstone et al.’s notion of the moral economy of the family in relation to how Brethren negotiate their way around ICTs, I conclude that without the reconstruction and cultural appropriation of ICTs the Brethren would not be able to maintain separation from wider society.
  • Liberalism

    Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016-01-25)
    A political philosophy that emerged from the Enlightenment, liberalism has a complex relationship with democracy, colonialism, postcolonialism, globalization, and literature. Democracy has been shaped by a tension between “classical liberalism”, which prioritizes liberty, and “modern liberalism”, which emphasizes equality. Liberalism also moulded the informal empire of free trade, and the “liberal imperialism” that devised a “civilizing mission” to justify formal empire. The development of liberalism has been vital in the anglophone settler colonies, particularly the USA; often, especially in South Africa, it has been focused on racial justice. The neo-liberalism that emerged in the late twentieth century advocates the globalization of unfettered capitalism and personal liberty. Many postcolonialists consider neo-liberalism a reprise of liberal imperialism, with “human rights” replacing the “civilizing mission” as a cultural-imperialist pretext for economic exploitation.
  • Gordimer, Nadine

    Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016-01-25)
    A prolific South African novelist, short-story writer, and essayist, Nadine Gordimer (1923–2014) is known for her opposition to apartheid and censorship. Her many honours include the Booker Prize (1974) and the Nobel Prize for Literature (1991). This article outlines Gordimer’s writing career in relation to the form of “internal colonialism” known as apartheid, and to the postcolonial condition of South Africa after apartheid. It describes how Gordimer’s fiction, which combines critical realism with late-modernist experimentation, articulates three phases: “liberal”, “radical”, and “post-apartheid”.
  • The liberal tradition in fiction

    Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2012-01-12)
    This chapter in the landmark Cambridge History of South African Literature offers a comprehensive discussion of the 'liberal-concerned' tradition in South African fiction, from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century. It comprises five main parts: 'Liberalism in politics and civil society'; 'Classic liberal fiction, 1883-1948'; 'Liberal fiction during apartheid, 1948-70'; 'Post-liberal fiction during apartheid, 1970-90'; '(Post-)liberal fiction after apartheid'.
  • 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.
  • Flash Fiction

    Blair, Peter; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2014)
    This article, which appears in the bestselling guide to publishing and the media, introduces the short-short story, most commonly known as 'flash fiction'. It outlines the historical rise of the flash, considers the defining characteristics of the form, and offers advice on writing flash fiction and getting it published. It includes an example of flash fiction and a structured list of suggestions for further primary and secondary reading.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • ‘All the figures I used to see’: using Cognitive Grammar to grapple with rhythmic and intertextual meaning-making in Radiohead’s ‘Pyramid Song’

    Neary, Clara; University of Chester
    This article constitutes an application of Cognitive Grammar and Zbikowski's theory of Musical Grammar to Radiohead's 'Pyramid Song'.

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