Now showing items 21-40 of 1019

    • Kleśas and Pretas: Therapy and Liberation in Buddhist Recovery from Addiction

      Dossett, Wendy; University of Chester
      This article offers an analysis of Buddhist approaches to addiction recovery in the terms of some of the key debates in addiction/recovery studies. Buddhist recovery teachings are analysed for the extent to which they embody models of addiction which construe the problem as a disease, as a moral problem, as a problem of powerlessness, as a problem of control, as a choice, as a social or a personal problem, and as continuous (or not) with putative saṃsāric experience. They are also analysed for the extent to which recovery is modelled as a change of identity or of practices, and how far “recovery ideals” align with Buddhist soteriology. The article exposes philosophical and epistemological diversity across Buddhist recovery pathways, and argues that the therapeutization of Buddhism (Metcalf 2002) is inadequate as a categorical frame.
    • ‘A Spectacle for the Cameras’: The survival of a Lakeland leisure tradition, 1930- c.1955

      Andrew, Rebecca; University of Chester
      This article examines the survival of rushbearing, a rural leisure tradition in the English Lake District. As a region popular with tourists throughout the 20th century, this case study offers important insights into how their presence shaped this ‘traditional’ leisure activity. Not only did annual rushbearing ceremonies offer opportunities for the region’s sense of place to be presented to outsiders, they were also an important way for local communities to reaffirm their connection to the Lake District and its past. These occasions were, however, increasingly influenced by an awareness of external influences and outside judgements, as the region’s popularity as a tourist destination boomed from the inter-war years. Although youth culture was increasingly standardised at a national level during this period, at a local level, young countrymen and women played an integral role in rushbearing’s survival, which promoted an idealised version of ‘traditional’ country life. This annual community event is therefore a useful example through which to examine the interplay between rural leisure traditions, tourism, and the role of young people in the countryside during this period.
    • Pluralising practical theology: international and multi-traditional challenges and opportunities

      Stuerzenhofecker, Katja; University of Chester; University of Manchester
      The entrance of international practical theologians of all faiths and none into the traditionally Western-centric, Christian-dominated field in the UK prompts the review of its scope and methodology. This paper argues for a shared conversation on how to achieve constructive and authentic participation for all. A recent survey of alumni from four UK-based Professional Doctorates in Practical Theology highlights omissions and opportunities, and points towards an agenda for intentional and effective pluralization. Evangelical principles and Christian liberation theology suggest internal strategies to counter possible resistance to undoing the Christian hegemony.
    • Book review: Michael Gilmour, Animals in the Writings of C.S. Lewis

      Clough, David L.; University of Chester
      Book review
    • Le roman national à l’épreuve du littéraire : Alexis Jenni, Jérôme Ferrari, Magyd Cherfi

      OBERGÖKER, Timo; University of Chester
      The recent publication of the L’Histoire mondiale de la France by Patrick Boucheron has reactualised a debate on the "worldliness" of French culture and history. His detractors reproach to this new and broader view on French History not to take into contact certain pillars of national History. The fondamental question which is here negotiated is another one_ What it the status of France in globalisation? What is the place of France's expectionalism? What is the role of national storytelling, a pedgagogical account of France's grandeur? French writers have reacted in manifold ways to this debate. This article shows how authors engage with this debate since 2010.
    • Editorial: Hope in the Midst of Ruins

      Graham, Elaine L.; University of Chester
      This editorial article introduces the papers originally given at the annual conference of Modern Church, on the theme of "Theology in the Public Square", held in July 2019. It considers what and how, and with what authority, the Christian churches might speak on public issues in the midst of challenges such as Brexit, inequality and globalisation. The church might speak, but is anyone listening?
    • Jan-Olav Henriksen, Christianity as Distinct Practices: A Complicated Relationship (T&T Clark, 2019).

      Graham, Elaine L.; University of Chester
      Review of Henriksen's book in which he argues that Christianity (and religion in general) has been perceived, both within the academy and society at large, as primarily an intellectual undertaking, whereas it should more properly be considered as ‘a cluster of practices that taken together manifest a distinct historically and contextually shaped mode of being in the world’. While Henriksen is not unique amongst contemporary scholars in regarding ‘religion as practice’ and ‘theology as practical’, it is his attempt to forge connections between the two and to pursue the logic of a philosophical reading of religion as practice through to a theological reading of the distinctive qualities of Christian practices that is of particular significance.
    • Nicola Slee, Fran Porter and Anne Phillips (eds), Researching Female Faith: Qualitative Research Methods (2018)

      Graham, Elaine L.; University of Chester
      This article is a book review of the edited collection, 'Researching Female Faith'. The volume is a successor to 'Faith Lives of Women and Girls', published in 2013, and represents further work to emerge from a network of feminist qualitative researchers in practical theology which has been meeting since 2010.
    • Theology and the Public Square: Mapping the Field

      Graham, Elaine L.; University of Chester
      This article asks what happens when theology ‘goes public’: what some of the key issues are in relation to the changing profile and role of religion in society – global, local and national – and how theologians have approached the issue of how the voices of faith might speak into the public domain. Where are the critical points in society, economics, politics, health and welfare where we feel the voices and influence of people of faith are most effective; and where are they absent; or most needed? What moves us to hope and action in relation to our ‘Common Life’?
    • "I’m Still Reading the Bible!” Post-Christian Women’s Biblical Reading Practices

      Llewellyn, Dawn; University of Chester
      In this chapter, I highlight post-Christian women’s biblicalism as a spiritual practice, while raising two questions for gendered religious reading practices and religious feminism’s uses and approaches to literature, which might also help explain why the activity of reading is underexplored. First, post-Christian women’s biblicalism crosses the distinction between sacred and secular literature sometimes assumed in religious feminism. In the search for alternative textual sources for doing theology, an either/or separation between sacred and secular has been presumed, which has not only set the Bible and women’s writing apart, but also reading practices and processes. Second, experience has been privileged in religious feminisms’ turn to literature as it seeks examples of women’s spiritual encounters; while in biblical feminism, women’s voices are the standpoint from which to examine scripture from a range of contextual positions. However, religious feminism has tended to focus on the text to the extent that actual readers are usually implied: everyday women’s experiences of reading have been passed over. Yet, by qualitatively interviewing post-Christian women readers to listen to their reading experiences, biblical reading emerges as a spiritual practice amongst women identifying against the Christian tradition. This troubles the assumption that women who use literature as a spiritual resource are doing so because they have found the Christian testaments lacking in opportunities to access the divine, and have therefore excluded them from their personal collections of spiritual texts. While post-Christian women readers in this study are critical of the Bible and question its relevancy, they continue to read it. I begin by briefly discussing the fieldwork upon which this chapter is based and my use of ‘post-Christian’. I then point to the sacred and secular textual distinctions that have occurred in religious feminisms, followed by discussing the preference for implied rather than actual readers to suggest that post-Christian women’s biblicalism is an unexpected aspect of women’s spiritual reading practices. Finally, using examples from the fieldwork, I illustrate one of the ways post-Christian women’s biblicalism emerges in this research, as the women employ ‘filtering’ strategies to monitor their acceptance and use of the biblical texts in their spiritual lives.
    • Praise by animals in the Hebrew Bible

      Atkins, Peter Joshua; University of Chester
      Among ancient Near Eastern societies was a widespread and particularly intriguing belief that animals were able to worship and praise deities. This study shows the Hebrew Bible evidences the idea that animals were capable of praising God too and proceeds to observe and document the presence of numerous examples of this in specific biblical texts. Through understanding the place of animals in the Hebrew Bible, and their perceived activity in the ancient Near East, this study suggests animals are distinct agents of praise in their own right in the biblical texts.
    • Geohumanities 2017 workshop report

      Martins, Bruno; Murrieta-Flores, Patricia (Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2018-01-09)
    • The Final Frontier? Religion and Posthumanism in Film and TV

      Graham, Elaine L; University of Chester (2014-10-08)
      Whilst science fiction is often considered secular in emphasis, more recently it has started to exhibit a different sensibility. This may reflect wider social and cultural change, and the emergence of a ‘post-secular’ culture, in which new and enduring forms of religiosity co-exist, albeit in certain tension, with secular and atheist world-views. In contrast to the assertion that any future or technologically-advanced world would have no need for religion, are more sympathetic treatments of religious belief and identity. This does not represent the extinction of science fiction’s elevation of scientific enquiry and secular humanist values, however: rather, faith is regarded as both inimical to progress and an inescapable part of what it means to be, and become, fully human.
    • The Posthuman Lifeworld: A Study of Russell T. Davies’s Doctor Who

      Hay, Jonathan; University of Chester
      Via the analysis of a cross-section of episodes from Russell T. Davies’s era of the revived BBC Science Fiction television series Doctor Who (2005–2010), this paper demonstrates that the programme utilises representations of the viewer’s everyday lifeworld to figure a posthuman rhetoric. Through the viewer’s in-phenomenal interaction with its representation of the mundane, the show emphasises the already significantly posthuman nature of the technologically saturated lifeworld of the contemporary individual. It challenges Darko Suvin’s notion of cognitive estrangement, which fails to describe the show’s Science Fictional discourse, and instead proposes the alternate mechanism of cognitive engagement. This inquiry, therefore, reappraises the thematic concerns of the show during the years when Russell T. Davies served as the programme’s showrunner, revealing Doctor Who’s emphasis upon the everyday (post)human lifeworld. It concludes that the show refutes technocentric ideologies, and thus rigorously demonstrates the consonance between the (post)human present and posthuman future.
    • Chester, Cavaliers and Cannons

      Chadwick, Sam (BBC History Magazine, 2019-10-26)
      This presentation looked at Chester’s role in the Civil War, the day-to-day activities of the siege of Chester, and the actions of the troops and commanders, supported by one of the key weapons of the time: artillery. Starting with an overview of the Civil War and its three parts, this lecture went on to look at 17th century siege warfare and its part in the civil war. It then drew out Chester’s place in the economy and the political landscape of the time, as well as the state of its defences. The presentation outlined the key figures in the siege of Chester, and broke down the siege into 4 key phases. Finally the presentation concluded with drawing the siege back to some of the original research on siege warfare and seeing how applicable they are in this case study.
    • ‘That factious City’: Exeter during the Civil War,a city with two identities?

      Chadwick, Sam
      The 17th century was a period of turmoil for Britain. Tensions had arisen between Protestant and Catholic beliefs, between the emerging merchant class and the old land‐owning gentry, between the king’s wish to rule by Divine Right and Parliament’s attempt to limit this, and between the English core and Britain’s other identities, those of Wales, Cornwall and Scotland. Ireland’s relations with the hub, too, were being re‐shaped. These tensions merged into a series of wars, starting with the first ‘Bishop’s War’ or ‘Scots’ War’ in 1639, which were not resolved until the 1688 ‘Glorious Revolution’. The wars brought about substantial changes to the identity of Britain. They are classically represented as one grand war with three phases, 1641‐1646, 1648 and 1649‐1652. Many different areas were caught up in the fighting. In England and Wales a total of around 150 towns were affected, with around 10,000 houses being destroyed. Many castles were slighted, so that they no longer could be used as a fortification or hold the weight of large cannon. Several fortifications were damaged to the point of ruination. The war is often represented as just two sides, Cavaliers and Roundheads; in fact the true identity of the war was one of several disparate factions all attempting to gain their own objectives. Histories of the Civil War have often tended to focus upon major national campaigns and principal armies occasionally clashing in glorious and decisive battles. However, these wars were shaped more by the gaining and holding of territory through skirmishes and sieges rather than these grandiose battles. Indeed the war’s duration and its repercussions for the civilian population make sieges a much better representation of how the Civil War was experienced. This paper looked at Exeter in the Civil War. Study of its alignment not only reveal details about itself, but also themes and trends that run throughout the Civil War. Exeter’s location on the river Exe –a major artery that allowed trade and communication with Europe –and its position between Royalist Cornwall and the Parliamentarian counties of Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset made it a heavily contested prize. It had stonewalls, originally built by the Romans but reinforced several times. It had already been besieged during the medieval and early modern periods, during an 18-day Norman siege of 1068 and a five-week siege during the Prayer Book rebellion in 1549. The city was one of only a handful of walled towns situated in Devon and Cornwall during this period and was situated on a ridge of high ground near the river, functioning as the county town. It was also was fourth or fifth in size and wealth in the country. Despite its wealth, before the Civil War its economic fortunes had declined. War time tax increases and a movement of its trade hub from France and Spain to Holland were causing hardship to the city.
    • Divine Imaginaries: The Turn to Literature in the Feminist Theology and Spirituality

      Llewellyn, Dawn; University of Chester
      At least since beginnings of the second wave of the women’s movement, feminist theologies and spiritualities have turned to the literary world, particularly women’s writing, as a resource. The novels, poetry, prose, and drama authored by women have been used by feminist scholarship to critique the patriarchal and androcentric language, teachings, doctrine, and scriptures of religious traditions, and to reimagine the sacred in ways that validate, recognize, and speak to women’s spiritual lives. In this chapter, I discuss religious feminism’s very literary disposition, and the ways it has harnessed women’s creative written worlds. First, I highlight two connected reasons for the ‘turn to literature’ - the dissatisfaction with Christian scripture and the desire for an alternative set of ‘sacred texts’ to inspire and generate new theological and spiritual insights – drawing on feminists whose work draws together religion and women’s literature. Second, the chapter highlights that while the use of literature has been vital in the development of feminist religious thinking, the reading strategies adopted have tended to rely on the often problematic categories of women’s experience and authorship. This can mean that feminist literary spiritualities have been guilty of essentializing women’s religious identities, and by preferring women’s writing as its sacred texts has limited literature. Finally, the chapter suggests that despite the prevalence of literature in feminist theology, actual, embodied women readers are a neglected but important part of the turn to literature.
    • Maternal Silences: Motherhood and Voluntary Childlessness in Christianity

      Llewellyn, Dawn; University of Chester (Brill, 2016-06-20)
      In Christianity, there is an ideology of motherhood that pervades scripture, ritual, and doctrine, yet there is an academic silence that means relatively little space has been given to motherhood and mothering, and even less to voluntary childlessness, from a faith perspective. By drawing on qualitative in-depth interviews with Christian women living in Britain, narrating their experiences of motherhood and voluntary childlessness, I suggest there are also lived maternal silences encountered by women in contemporary Christianity. There is a maternal expectation produced through church teaching, liturgy and culture that constructs women as ‘maternal bodies’ (Gatrell 2008); this silences and marginalises women from articulating their complex relationship with religion, motherhood, and childlessness in ways that challenge their spiritual development. However, this article also introduces the everyday and intentional tactics women employ to disrupt the maternal expectation, and hereby interrupt the maternal silence.