Promoting the Good: Ethical and Methodological Considerations in Practical Theological Research.
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractIn this chapter, we draw on our experiences as supervisors on a Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology (DProf) at the University of Chester, UK, to reflect on the ethical dimensions of undertaking research in this field of study. Using three case-studies, based on our students’ work, we examine how the ethical challenges they have navigated and addressed – using a range of methods -- offer examples of the ways practical theological research can trouble and speak back to well-established practices. First, we contextualize the Professional Doctorate in practical theology and introduce the idea of the ‘researching professional’, before suggesting that although practical theology is a broad discipline, it aims to transform the researcher’s practice, their institution, and the academy. The chapter then moves to outline the part that qualitative methodologies play in the discipline and focus on its forms of research as implicated and therefore ethical project. Finally, we discuss three illustrations of recent doctoral work in practical theology that raise issues of consent, privacy, anonymity, and avoiding harm. In particular, we draw out that these examples point towards ways that qualitative research strives towards ‘the good’.
CitationGraham, E. & Llewellyn, D. (2018). Promoting the Good: Ethical and Methodological Considerations in Practical Theological Research. In Moschella, M. & Willhauck, S. (eds.), Qualitative Research in Theological Education: Pedagogy in Practice, (pp. 39-59). SCM Press.
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