• "I should like to learn to have faith," (Bonhoeffer) moving towards a theology of learning

      Robinson, Linda A. (University of Chester, 2014-09)
      This thesis arises from the researcher's experience as a facilitator of adult learning and Professional Doctorate student in practical theology. Its purpose is to contribute to a theology of adult learning.
    • Ian Seed Takes a Nap

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (Department of English, University of Chester, 2015-12)
      Flash fiction.
    • Identity Papers

      Seed, Ian; University of Chester (Shearsman Books, 2016-02-19)
      The prose poems in Identity Papers seek to construct a living bridge between the self and its shadow, between the self and other, and between present and past. They do so with a vulnerable faith, working with Heidegger's dictum that all things must be allowed their time in darkness. Along the way, their narrators meet a series of disturbing, irresistible strangers. Identity Papers follows on from Makers of Empty Dreams (Shearsman, 2014). It is the second volume in a trilogy of prose poem collections.
    • Identity, dissatisfaction and political activity - the experience of East German women since unification

      Wagener, Debbie; Chester College of Higher Education (GRIN Verlag, 2002)
      This book investigates the integration of East German women into the new political, legal, and economic system of the re-unified Germany. East German women comprise a particularly significant group in the process of assimilation into the new Germany and they have been frequently singled out as those who have lost the most as a result of unification. The chapters cover - feminist ideology in east and west and the potential for conflict; public policy and the realities of female emancipation in East Germany; East German distinctiveness; dissatisfaction with the Federal Republic; and political activity and mobilisation.
    • Identity, dissatisfaction and political activity: The experience of East German women since unification (associated mp3 files)

      Wagener, Debbie; University of Chester (2002)
      These mp3 files cover interviews with German women in connection with the thesis Identity, dissatisfaction and political activity: the experience of East German women since unification. 2002. University of Birmingham.
    • “Illness Is Nothing But Injustice”: The Revolutionary Element in Bengali Folk Healing

      Ferrari, Fabrizio M.; University of Chester (American Folklore Society, 2015)
      This article seeks to reflect on how concepts such as “ritual,” “illness,” and “health” are intertwined in the practice of Bengali healers and their customers. By objecting to past and present logics that ascribe to folk healing an innate subalternity because of context (e.g., the village), mode of transmission (e.g., orality), gender and social background of votaries (e.g., low-caste, working-class sectors), my analysis discusses health-seeking rituals as an arena for revolutionary negotiations. This character is determined by the willingness of healers, health-seekers, and other-than-human entities (deities, spirits, demons, ghosts, etc.) to counter relative injustice, negotiate power, and actualize redemption by means of a radical, though often temporary, subversion of or challenge to an established order. This reading, which I derive from Ernesto de Martino’s “progressive folklore,” wishes to contribute to discourses on religious folklore as a way of expressing, and perpetuating acceptable solutions to individual and social imbalance, including the perception of illness as uneven development. Folk healing is one of the liveliest forms of people’s knowledge; the actualization of ancestral needs; and one of the most easily available and culturally understandable form of creativity, reflexivity, and education. While critically addressing the limits of using de Martino’s theories in the frame of post-colonial ethnography, I go back to his definition of culture as the result of the “victorious struggle of health over the pitfalls of disease” ([1958] 2000:25) and discuss illness and its treatment among Bengali healers and their clients as ways to experience what de Martino called the expansion of self-consciousness.
    • The illustrated encyclopedia of Islam

      Phillips, Charles; Seddon, Mohammed; Bokhari, Raana; University of Chester (Seddon) (Lorenz Books, 2010-03-24)
      This book discusses the Islamic faith, its history, philosophy and religious practices.
    • Images of the witch in nineteenth-century culture

      Wynne, Deborah; Elsley, Susan J. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2012-04)
      This thesis examines the witch imagery used during the nineteenth century in children’s literature, realist and gothic fiction, poetry and art, and by practitioners and critics of mesmerism, spiritualism and alternative spirituality. The thesis is based on close readings of nineteenth-century texts and detailed analysis of artwork, but also takes a long view of nineteenth-century witch imagery in relation to that of preceding and succeeding periods. I explore the means by which the image of the witch was introduced as an overt or covert figure into the work of nineteenth-century writers and artists during a period when the majority of literate people no longer believed in the existence of witchcraft; and I investigate the relationship between the metaphorical witch and the areas of social dissonance which she is used to symbolise. I demonstrate that the diversity of nineteenth-century witch imagery is very wide, but that there is a tendency for positive images to increase as the century progresses. Thereby the limited iconography of malevolent witches and powerless victims of witch-hunts, promulgated by seventeenth-century witch-hunters and eighteenth-century rationalist philosophers respectively, were joined by wise-women, fairy godmothers, sorceresses, and mythical immortals, all of whom were defined, directly or indirectly, as witches. Nonetheless I also reveal that every image of the witch I examine has a dark shadow, despite or because of the empathy between witch and creator which is evident in many of the works I have studied. In the Introduction I acknowledge the validity of theories put forward by historians regarding the influence of societal changes on the decline of witchcraft belief, but I argue that those changes also created the need for metaphorical witchery to address the anxieties created by those changes. I contend that the complexity of social change occurring during and prior to the nineteenth century resulted in an increase in the diversification of witch imagery. I argue that the use of diverse images in various cultural forms was facilitated by the growth of liberal individualism which allowed each writer or artist to articulate specific concerns through discrete images of the witch which were no longer coloured solely by the dictates of superstition or rationalism. I look at the peculiar ability of the witch as a symbolic outcast from society to view that society from an external perspective and to use the voice of the exile to say the unsayable. I also use definitions garnered from a wide spectrum of sources from cultural history to folklore and neo-paganism to justify my broad definition of the word ‘witch’. In Chapter One I explore children’s literature, on the assumption that images absorbed during childhood would influence both the conscious and unconscious witch imagery produced by the adult imagination. I find the templates for familiar imagery in collections of folklore and, primarily, in translations of ‘traditional’ fairy tales sanitised for the nursery by collectors such as Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. I then examine fantasies created for Victorian children by authors such as Mary de Morgan, William Makepeace Thackeray, George MacDonald and Charles Kingsley, where the image of witch and fairy godmother is conflated in fiction which elevates the didactic fairy tale to a level which in some cases is imbued with a neo-platonic religiosity, thereby transforming the witch into a powerful portal to the divine. In contrast the canonical novelists whose work I examine in Chapter Two generally project witch imagery obliquely onto foolish, misguided, doomed or defiant women whose witchery is both allusionary and illusionary. I begin with the work of Sir Walter Scott whose bad or sad witches touch his novels with the supernatural while he denies their magic. Scott’s witch imagery, like that of Perrault and Grimm, is reflected in the witches who represent women’s exclusion from autonomy, education and/or the literary establishment in the works of Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot. Traditional fairy-tale imagery is particularly evident in Charles Dickens’ use of the witch to represent negative aspects in the development of society or the individual. In contrast Scott’s impulse to distance himself from the pre-urban world represented by his witches contrasts with Thomas Hardy’s mourning of the female earth spirits of Wessex, thereby linking fluctuating and evolving images of nature with images of the nineteenth-century witch. In Chapter Three I explore poetry and art through Romantic verse, Tennyson’s Camelot, Rossetti and Burne-Jones’ Pre-Raphaelite classicism, Rosamund Marriot Watson and Mary Coleridge’s shape-shifting, mirrored women, and Yeats’ Celtic Twilight: in doing so I find representations of the witch as the destructive seductress, the muse, the dark ‘other’ of the suppressed poet, the symbol of spellbinding amoral nature, and the embodiment of the Celtic soul. In the final chapter witch imagery is attached to actual practitioners of so-called ‘New Witchcraft’, yet they also become part of a story which seeks to equate neo/quasi science with the supernatural. I demonstrate a gender realignment of occult power as the submissive mesmerist’s tool evolves into the powerful mother/priestess. I note the interconnectedness of fiction and fact via the novels of authors such as Wilkie Collins and Edward Bulwer-Lytton; and identify the role of the campaigning godmother figure as a precursor of the radical feminist Wiccan. I believe that my thesis offers a uniquely comprehensive view of the use of metaphorical witch imagery in the nineteenth century.
    • Imaginative anticipation: Towards a theology of care for those with dementia

      Graham, Elaine L.; Goodall, Margaret A. (University of Chester, 2011-10)
      Dementia is a degenerative disease which appears to take away personhood and identity and calls into question how we understand what it means to be a person. My argument is that how people with dementia are seen and imagined is key both to the understanding of their value and the care that is offered. The aim of this study is to determine how the Christian ethos of Methodist Homes (MHA) influences the care of people with dementia in order to develop a general theology of care from within practical theology. The thesis explores the ways in which the Methodist emphases of social justice and prevenient grace offer a basis for dementia care, and how MHA has drawn on its origins within the Methodist Church to develop an ethos of care that places respect for the person with dementia at the centre. This concern for those with dementia is then surveyed and the themes of respect and relationality emerge offering the potential for human becoming. Within MHA the care offered is based on a person-centred model. In order to discover how the Christian ethos of the organisation influences care this thesis explores patterns of delivering care in three homes of each of three types; well-established, recently-acquired and new-build. In each home the views of the staff were surveyed. Three in-depth interviews were conducted when questions were asked in order to understand their perception of the person with dementia. The interviews uncovered what carers regarded as good care and when care did not meet the needs, and why they believed that happened. Browning’s ‘strategic practical theology’ was used to evaluate these findings from within a Christian context to examine the influence of MHA’s ethos on the care offered. The core value chosen as the most important for care was ‘respect’; and while the care offered across all types was ‘person-centred’ the way it was delivered varied. The culture of MHA that gave rise to the values is investigated, along with the challenge of retaining ‘mutuality’ as an ideal as the needs of older people changed. The themes that emerged were those around quality of life and the things that enable the change in thinking from basic ‘caring’ to ‘caring for the person’ as the person is seen in a different way. Dementia is sometimes called the ‘theological disease’, and this understanding of dementia and the person is explored to discern what can be offered from theology to the best ideals of care in order to provide true person-centred care that is respectful of the person. I argue from within practical theology that a new way of seeing the person with dementia is needed in order to anticipate the possibility for human flourishing that is possible in a person, even in dementia. And that, offered with respect, good person-centred dementia-care can be a sign of the Kingdom. Part 1 of the D.Prof. comprises four sections in which I explore dementia from within practical theology; how it impacts on personhood, how I, as a practitioner within Methodist Homes (MHA), could enable others to offer care of the whole person; and how the carers’ understanding of the person makes a difference. In the first section, the literature was surveyed in order to discover the historical development of the term dementia. Until the middle of the twentieth century, there was little care as the condition was not named. But then drugs were discovered that could control unsocial behaviour, and the medical model of care developed. However, a new culture of care developed (person-centred care), because of the better understanding of the social nature of the disease. From within the context of theology, I explored how personhood can be understood within dementia and how, even in dementia, it might be possible to grow into the fullness of Christ as spirituality is enhanced. The second section was in the form of a publishable article which explored how it might be possible to evaluate spiritual care within a dementia-care setting. This took the form of a case study in which I worked with staff in a home that had difficulty evidencing spiritual care. It raised issues about the nature of care and assessment of spiritual care, as well as the rationale behind, and the delivery of, that care. What developed used the biblical concept of ‘fruits of the spirit’ as a way of recognising spiritual dis-ease as it is these qualities which enable inspiration, reverence, awe, meaning and purpose even in those who have no religious beliefs. The model used to offer this care was through the 3 R’s of reflection, relationship and restoration. Section three, reflective-practice section, emerged out of my practice as a chaplaincy adviser for MHA, in which I reflected critically on the contexts and understanding of the manager and chaplain, and how a chaplaincy manual was developed. The ability of the chaplain to work effectively and enable good spiritual care in the home, depended on the relationship between the manager and chaplain. By exploring the culture of both manager and chaplain, a way to enable good communication was discovered. The role of pastoral care and how it is seen within an organisation, that must have a professional management, was investigated and ways suggested for mutual understanding using the chaplaincy manual. The last section examined whether the Christian ethos of MHA encouraged a model of person-centred care. I suggested that a way of making sense of the data is by using types to describe personhood and how that can be made visible by their care. Considering the way that therapeutic interventions (reminiscence therapy, reality orientation, validation therapy, drug therapy) were used offered a way to enable the ethos of the home to be seen more clearly. Central to theological anthropology is the concept of the person which includes an ethical dimension. MHA has the strap line, ‘care informed by Christian concern’, so the study investigated whether this Christian ethos is lived out in the care offered. These aspects of study have led me to begin this thesis to research how care is delivered and what carers understand to be appropriate care. An appreciation of the context in which this care takes place also highlighted a need to conduct a theological exploration of the nature of the person with dementia.
    • Imaging the present: an iconography of slavery in African art

      Griffiths, Claire H.; University of Chester (Liverpool University Press, 2015-05-21)
      As memories of slavery re-emerge in the historiography of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, contemporary artists from Francophone Africa are engaged in reassessing how this period in Africa’s recent past has extended beyond its historical era to play a role in shaping the development challenges of present-day Africa. Exploring connections between Atlantic slavery and the use of African labour in contemporary modes of production in West Africa, recent art works from the region that once formed the heartland of the French slave trade are providing a discursive platform on which to challenge traditional post-colonial nationalist discourses of modernity and change. An iconography of slavery dating from the era of the Atlantic slave trade and the capture, enslavement and transportation of over eleven million people from Africa to the Americas over the four hundred year period of the ‘terrible trade', has appeared in a body of digital and material art work produced between 1995 and 2015. Artists originating from countries across Francophone Africa (the former French and Belgian colonies on the African mainland), many of whom now live and work in Europe, have independently been moving towards a re-contextualised use of visual imaginary that both invokes explicitly the history and legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This chapter explores the context in which ‘les arts plastiques’ have been produced in the French-speaking areas of Africa, both historically and into the present day, and explores how art offers an alternative platform for political discourse and dissent in the Francophone Africa today.
    • Imitation and finitude: Towards a Jewish theology of making

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Mohr Siebeck, 2015-03-01)
      It has long been taken as a truism that Judaism as a whole is marked by a pervasive “hostility to the image”. The prevailing narrative takes the Second Commandment very much at face value, as a prohibition against the attempt to imitate anything in the heavens above, on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth. However, this narrative is based on an incomplete understanding of the textual and artefact record. This paper takes more recent scholarship into account, and attempts to contest this narrative, and to suggest that we can identify a Jewish tradition not just of visuality, but of art, and that, further, we can get there with the help of, rather than in spite of, the biblical text. It engages with a reading of the last third of the book of Exodus, weighing the duelling narratives of Bezalel and the Golden Calf against the theories of art which have risen to prominence in the modern era, attempting to formulate the basis for a Jewish theological aesthetics which affirms and embraces the visual arts.
    • The Impact of Post-Writer Histories on the Significance of UK Literary Houses

      Pardoe, James; University of Chester (Common Ground, 2014)
      By exploring case studies from the UK, this paper investigates how post-writer histories of literary houses impact on the understanding of the lives and works of associated writers. The boundaries of this paper have been dictated by its place within twenty-first century manifestations of the survival, conservation and reproduction of literary houses associated with three writers active in the early nineteenth century: Lord Byron, John Keats and Sir Walter Scott. Many of the works within the literary house genre highlight the significance of the link between writers and their audiences. These links are created through the establishment of houses as sites of remembrance, as memorials, and as sensory markers. However, whereas commentators concentrate on the links being direct, this paper shows that the association is based on narratives filtered through those who were subsequently responsible for the houses. Consequently, the interpretation prevalent in the houses in the twenty-first century are the result of a long history based on the writers, and what was considered their significance by others over approximately two hundred years
    • The impact of the charismatic movement and related tensions on the traditional Lutheran worship of the South Central Synod of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus since 1991

      Greggs, Tom; Godebo Debanchor, Yacob (University of Chester, 2011-08)
      This research is based on the contemporary worship life of the South Central Synod (SCS) of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY). The worship life of the SCS congregations has been disrupted since 1991 because of the impact of the charismatic movement on the traditional Lutheran worship of the SCS and related tensions. The EECMY is the church that was founded by the European Lutheran Churches. Therefore, it adheres to the Lutheran theological tradition, which limits religious authority to Scripture and emphasizes the New Testament’s teaching of conversion, new birth, and justification by grace through faith. Lutheran theological tradition does not emphasize the necessity and possibility of the charismatic gifts as part of faith practice. Any tendency to receive and experience charismatic gifts outside of Scripture and sacraments has not been addressed for traditional Lutheran worship. Rather, such experiences were strongly rejected by Lutheran confessional documents (SA III: viii). Being one of the units of the EECMY, SCS was founded on this theological tradition and assumes it for its theology and practice. The SCS traditional worship, therefore, does not recognize charismatic worship and experiences of related manifestations as necessary parts of faith practice. Since 1991 the charismatic movement has introduced the congregations to traditionally neglected charismatic worship and experiences of charismatic gifts such as prophecy, revelations, speaking in tongues, physical healing, discerning spirits and miracle working. The receiving and experiencing of these gifts have become almost a normal part of worship in the congregations. This has impacted the congregations to the extent that they consider their own traditional worship structure as contradictory to devotional worship and deeper spiritual experience. Yet the traditionalists of the congregations reject charismatic worship and related experiences of the manifestations. These distinct views have caused tensions and disruption between the members those who want freedom of worship and changes to the traditional formalism, and those who wish to maintain the traditional form of worship. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore this situation and the history that has brought it about. Having examined this, the research discusses the nature and impact of the charismatic movement and its effects on traditional Lutheran worship in the SCS, together with offering some potential contextually appropriate proposed solutions.
    • L'impossibilité d'une ile. L'histoire littéraire française dans la mondialisation

      Obergöker, Timo; University of Chester (2014-08-26)
      Résumé L’imaginaire collectif français a longtemps été marqué par un lien étroit entre la nation et la narration. Ce lien était étayé, entre autres, par l’histoire littéraire, celle-ci a pendant longtemps joué un rôle crucial dans la constitution d’une identité collective et de ce fait dans le système éducatif. Dans un monde globalisé toutefois, ce lien se fait de plus en plus précaire. Bien que la France fût, grâce au fait colonial, rapidement confronté à des textes littéraires provenant d’ailleurs, ceux-ci étaient rapidement intégrés dans un narratif marqué par le principe de l’universalité française. Or depuis les années 1980 avec la mondialisation et la migration, le lien entre nation et narration est de plus en plus menacé. Ce texte étudie les manières dont les instances académiques françaises réagissent à ces menaces mais envisage aussi les mécanismes par le biais desquels ces tendances sont intégrés dans le narratif français, comment le lien entre narration et nation est réactualisé dans l’imaginaire collectif. Abstract France’s cultural self-perception has always been clearly marked by a close link between the nation and a narration. This link was provided, amongst other factors, by literary history. The history of French literature played a crucial role in "making France" and hence in educating young Frenchmen. In a globalised world however this link becomes more and more precarious. Although France, through colonisation, became quickly a country confronted with literary texts written outside of homeland France, these texts were integrated into the narrative of French universality. With globalisation and hyphenisation in the 1980s this narrative is increasingly threatened. Our text shows ways in which France reacts to these threats and how France is trying to maintain the scheme on the one hand, on the other how it tries to incorporate new tendencies in literary history and to adapt them to France’s particular historical narrative.
    • Imprisoned Grief: A Theological, Spiritual and Practical Response

      Graham, Elaine L; Mowat, Harriet; Baker, Christopher; Llewellyn, Dawn; Lane, Rosalind A. (University of Chester, 2015-06)
      This thesis identifies ‘imprisoned grief’ as a new phenomenon. The Living with Loss project was a theological, spiritual and practical response to it co-constructed by the research participants and myself as the practitioner-researcher. The project ran from 2008-2011 at both HMP Kirkham and HMP Whitemoor. My initial findings highlighted the fact that ‘disenfranchised grief’ (Doka 1989) and ‘self-disenfranchised grief’ (Doka 2002) were inadequate descriptions of what I uncovered in my research. Doka himself (2002, p18) called for further research to be carried out in particular circumstances including prison, encouraging my own confidence in the importance of such research. ‘Disenfranchised grief’ is a condition which people feel when unable to access support from family, friends, religious and professional organisations in living with issues of grief and loss. It is exhibited by prisoners where the acute loss of family, relationships, home, employment, finance, education and ability to parent come together. Issues of loss and bereavement accumulate when a parent or other family members becomes terminally ill or dies during their imprisonment. ‘Self-disenfranchised grief’ is a self- initiated form of disenfranchised grief where the self will not allow grieving to take place. I consider that neither description fully explains the condition I encountered, which I have called ‘imprisoned grief.’ Imprisoned grief is distinctive because it manifests itself due to the loss of freedom brought about by imprisonment; during anticipatory grieving whilst in prison; following bereavement in prison and loss acts as a factor in criminal behaviour which include loss due to homicide. My research offers spiritual, theological and practically distinctive coping strategies and insights into how imprisoned grief can be ‘unlocked’ and prisoners can feel liberated from it. Enfranchisement was established between family members by sharing feelings and emotions in group work and through the composition of and facilitation of faith rituals. I argue that it was their beliefs and spirituality which sustained, combated and freed them from ‘imprisoned grief’.
    • In praise of paving

      Chantler, Ashley; University of Chester (The Alternative Press, 2003)
      Ashley Chantler's debut poetry collection. Contents: Part I: Walls, Pirouette, Storm in a Teashop, Secretions, Between Embarrassment and Desire, …giving…taking…over…in…, Lines, The Poet and the Ant, Until Death Them Do Part, Cut Off, Probing, Sketch for a Modern Love Poem, Fragment 1, Fragment 2, Fragment 3, Fragment 4, Fragment 5, Fragment 6, Free. Part II: Lost in the Fun House, Nine Crap Poets in a Lift, Gulf, Gulf (2), Judgements, The Unappreciated, The Bliss of Innocence, Bachelor, Bachelor (2), A Short Story about Borders, …giving…taking…over…in…, Will, Personal Helicon, In Praise of Paving. Reprinted in 2006.
    • In the chamber, in the grade robe, in the chapel, in a chest': The Possession and Uses of Luxury Textiles. The Case of Later Medieval Dijon

      Wilson, Katherine A.; University of Chester (Ashgate, 2015-12-28)
      Throughout human history luxury textiles have been used as a marker of importance, power and distinction. Yet, as the essays in this collection make clear, the term ‘luxury’ is one that can be fraught with difficulties for historians. Focusing upon the consumption, commercialisation and production of luxury textiles in Italy and the Low Countries during the late medieval and early modern period, this volume offers a fascinating exploration of the varied and subtle ways that luxury could be interpreted and understood in the past. Beginning with the consumption of luxury textiles, it takes the reader on a journey back from the market place, to the commercialisation of rich fabrics by an international network of traders, before arriving at the workshop to explore the Italian and Burgundian world of production of damasks, silks and tapestries. The first part of the volume deals with the consumption of luxury textiles, through an investigation of courtly purchases, as well as urban and clerical markets, before the chapters in part two move on to explore the commercialisation of luxury textiles by merchants who facilitated their trade from the cities of Lucca, Florence and Venice. The third part then focusses upon manufacture, encouraging consideration of the concept of luxury during this period through the Italian silk industry and the production of high-quality woollens in the Low Countries. Graeme Small draws the various themes of the volume together in a conclusion that suggests profitable future avenues of research into this important subject.
    • In the context of health care, where is God in the dark places of human experience?: Implications for pastoral care

      Graham, Elaine L.; Speck, Peter; Clifton-Smith, Gregory J. (University of Chester, 2013-05)
      Triggered by a chance pastoral encounter with a nurse who articulated a sense of the presence of God in the midst of existential darkness, this study seeks to explore two underlying questions: “In the context of health care, where is God in the “dark places” of human experience”? and “How is that experience discerned and communicated to others?” It will show how a greater understanding of these questions will add value to the provision of pastoral care in the health care environment by enabling a tailored intervention to be offered that will be to the benefit of the patient and their clinical and pastoral outcome. The research uses insights gained from academia, including theological and health care literature, to explore the former, and a musicological review to explore the latter. These are set alongside qualitative material in the form of case studies and taped interviews. Whilst this study suggests that credible belief in God is possible if God can be seen to be involved with, and supportive of, humanity in the midst of its suffering, it also shows that the way that experience is discerned and thus communicated to others, involves a process of listening and performing comparable with the act of music-making. As with its musical counterpart (incorporating elements of melody, rhythm, dynamics and timbre), this research maintains that the process of pastoral listening and performing is also multi-faceted, existing on a number of different levels. An awareness of these enables the pastoral encounter to begin to be rooted in a process of meaning-making analogous with wisdom emerging out of lament. This research further suggests that one way such wisdom can be discerned is in the way that the lament within the pastoral encounter is itself framed, using musical form as one way of holding in relationship the tradition of faith with pastoral praxis. In using specific examples of music-making as a guide to effective pastoral care, this study concludes with recommended pastoral interventions pertaining to the pastoral practice of healthcare chaplaincy, advocating that through reclaiming the spiritual space and reframing the pastoral encounter, it is still possible for chaplains to model the presence of God.
    • In the light of a child: Adults discerning the gift of being

      Graham, Elaine L.; Nye, Rebecca; Dixon, Stephen W. (University of ChesterManchester Diocese Board of Education, 2012-06)
      The researcher is a diocesan adviser for Children’s Ministry, charged with promoting the importance of children for the Church, and the study examines issues arising from this professional responsibility. Children’s advocates often suggest that adults have much to learn from them in the Church. It is commonly assumed that this learning will derive from their presumed characteristics such as ‘innocence’, or ‘playfulness’. However, these characteristics are not exclusive to or universal among children. The aim of this study is to investigate the ‘specialness’ of children and discover if there is something peculiar to childhood that would merit Jesus placing a child in the midst of his disciples as a signpost to the kingdom of heaven. The primary data source is the researcher’s journal of his experience as a member of a multi-generational church group, and the study employs a qualitative methodology drawing on Grounded Theory and some of the practices of autoethnography. The importance of a relationship between experience and theology for Practical Theology is noted and the influence of experience on theologians explored with reference to Schleiermacher, Miller-McLemore and the theological reflection of ‘ordinary’ Christians. The analysis of the researcher’s journal is developed as an example of experience-grounded personal theological reflection. The results achieved by the study show that the most powerful personal effects of the multi-generational group on the researcher did not reflect the children’s attributes per se but rather his own characteristics as revealed in relationship with the children. Interviews with the other adult members of the group, and Christian adults who work with children in contrasting situations, support the view that the effect of children on adults is influenced by the individuals concerned. The personal factors influencing the adults’ experience are thematised, and the questions these themes evoke are seen as indicating the theological potential of reflection on the adult/child interface. The study concludes that one aspect of the ‘specialness’ of children arises from their vulnerability and the nature of the relationship this creates with adults. The ‘special value’ of children to the life of the Church, it is suggested, includes the opportunity they give adults to view their own ‘being’ as God-given ‘gift’ by exploring how it can serve God’s purposes in promoting the flourishing of the vulnerable. The possibility of promoting such exploration among individual Christians and Church communities is considered. The findings of the study are seen as having implications for a less romanticised portrayal of children’s importance in the Church; for promoting better intergenerational relationships; for grounded theological conversation within and beyond the Church; for recruitment to Children’s Ministry; and for the researcher’s professional practice.
    • The Inalienable Alien: Giorgio Agamben and the Political Ontology of Hong Kong

      Leung, King-Ho (Taylor and Francis, 2017-04-03)
      Drawing on the work of Giorgio Agamben, this article offers a philosophical interpretation of Hong Kong’s recent Umbrella Movement and the city’s political identity since its 1997 handover to China. With the constitutional principle of ‘one country, two systems’ it has held since 1997, Hong Kong has existed as an ‘inalienable alien’ part of China not dissimilar to that of Agamben’s political ontology of the homo sacer’s ‘inclusive exclusion’ in the polis. In addition to highlighting how Agamben’s politico-ontological notions such as ‘exception’ and ‘inclusive exclusion’ can illuminate the events of the Umbrella Movement, this article focuses particularly on the figure of the student, which many have seen as the symbolic face of the protest campaign. Considering how the student may also be regarded as a figure of ‘exception’, this article argues that the ‘exceptional’ role of the student highlights the unique sociopolitical as well as pedagogical aspects of the Umbrella Movement. Finally, comparing Hong Kong’s 2014 protests to Agamben’s philosophical account of the 1989 Tiananmen protests, this article concludes by suggesting that the Umbrella Movement is not simply a one-off event but fundamentally a manifestation of Hong Kong’s continuing political existence since 1997.