• Mission in a Welsh Context: Patterns of Nonconformist Mission in Wales and the Challenge of Contextualisation in the Twenty First Century

      Ollerton, David R. J. (University of Chester, 2015-07)
      This thesis considers aspects of contextualisation in the mission of local churches in twenty-first century Wales. Welsh Nonconformity rose rapidly to a dominant position in Welsh society and culture in the nineteenth century, but has subsequently declined equally rapidly. By the beginning of the twenty-first century its total demise is predicted. The research examines the contextual factors in this decline, and their relevance for possible recovery. Contextualisation is an essential part of missiology, in calibrating appropriate mission to the distinctives of a particular nation or locality. Wales is shown to be a distinctive context for mission, both nationally and regionally, in relation to specific aspects: religious, geographic, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, social and political. Contextual studies have been done for other mission contexts, but not for Wales. This research seeks to address this lack. The thesis first outlines the development of the main approaches in global mission, their underlying assumptions, and their outworking in the mission of local churches in the West. The approaches have been identified as Evangelistic, Lausanne, Missio Dei, Liberal and Emergent. Drawing on hundreds of questionnaire responses and extensive interviews with Nonconformist leaders, the research examines how the different approaches to mission have been expressed in Wales, and how each approach adjusted to each aspect of context. The growth trends of the different approaches, patterns of church and mission, and adjustments to Welsh contexts in the first decade of the twenty-first century, or not, are then examined. The resulting analysis enables good practice to be identified, and approaches for effective mission suggested for the coming decades.
    • Missional pastoral care: innovation in charismatic evangelical urban practice

      Llewellyn, Dawn; Graham, Elaine L.; Ruddick, Anna E. (University of Chester, 2016-06)
      A new model of mission is emerging among participants in the urban ministry of the Eden Network which reimagines evangelical identity and missiology. The Eden Network is a charismatic evangelical organisation which has engaged in incarnational urban ministry for the last nineteen years. In the course of my roles as a staff member and as a local participant observer, I identified tensions arising for Eden team members between their inherited evangelical theology and their experiences of mission in urban communities. This research aims to explore this dissonance, identifying the subcultural narratives of evangelicalism and the ways in which these narratives are complicated by lived experience.
    • A New Creation in Christ: A Historical-Theological Investigation into Walter Marshall’s Theology of Sanctification in Union with Christ in the Context of the Seventeenth-Century Antinomian and Neonomian Controversy

      Christ, Timothy M. (University of Chester, 2016-12)
      This thesis attempts to understand Marshall in a similar vein but on a much larger scale. Our work will progress in four remaining chapters. In chapter II we will explore Marshall’s diachronic context, explaining how Protestant theology wrestled with correlating free justification and the need for a renewed life. We will look at Luther, Trent, and Calvin because they were highly influential in shaping the theological context in the seventeenth century and because they offer clear examples of theologians struggling to formulate their doctrine of Sanctification. In chapter III we will look at Marshall’s synchronic context. Our main task is to trace the development of Antinomianism and Neonomianism. Both systems were significant factors in Marshall’s context. We will also study those who influenced them, including Perkins, the English Arminians, and Owen. We will conclude this section with several tensions that were present in English Reformed theology in the middle of the seventeenth century. Chapter IV accounts for about half of this thesis. This is where we will explore Marshall’s theology. We will analyze Marshall’s book The Gospel Mystery rhetorically and systematically, examining how Marshall constructed his argument and the system of theology on which his argument was based. Our goal is to reconstruct his theological system. This chapter is subdivided into chapter length sections, which include the nature of sin and depravity, union with Christ, the new nature, justification, faith, assurance, and practical sanctification. Finally we will conclude in chapter V by showing that although Marshall is not unique in his theological construction, Marshall’s work demonstrates several factors that make it uniquely helpful in countering the twin errors of Antinomianism and Neonomianism, which are perennial dangers for Reformed churches. To bolster this conclusion, we will briefly explore how Marshall was used in the generations immediately following him.
    • The new East Window of St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, London: a window of opportunity for developing ordinary theology through a visual image

      Betts, Edmund J. (University of Chester, 2014-12-15)
      Ordinary theology is a developing concept focusing on people’s explicit religious beliefs, and relying on anecdotal evidence and other academic writers to bridge the gap with academy theology. It has influenced empirical studies of ordinary people’s experience with the Bible, doctrine and cathedral visiting. A feminist qualitative ethnographic study and action research provide other voices as alternatives to this empiricism. Theologians-in-the-arts have appropriated art to illustrate their academic theology. This thesis takes further the use of a visual image, with a recently commissioned non-figurative designed window, by a female Iranian-born artist, in an well-known London church. It enquires how far a non-specific doctrinal and non-narrative window encourages wider public participation in meaning making and metaphor generation, challenging the current static concept of ordinary theology. An interpretative paradigm with perspectives from constructivism, phenomenology, and hermeneutics shapes an inductive and qualitative approach to give attention to regular worshippers and visitors. A visual ethnographic method elicits data through semi-structured questionnaires, interviews, and journal writing. Adopting a ‘lay’ outsider participant role during the fieldwork, unstructured situational interviews with passers-by, street traders and church staff were also undertaken. Interpretive lenses of framing, the pastoral cycle, ethnomethodology, and nitty-gritty hermeneutics assisted in analysing the data. The window attracted a high degree of participation, engaging people in reflection. Over 85% of participants were professional/university and technically educated and competent in academic disciplines other than theology. The respondents initially made non-religious statements challenging ordinary theology, which focussed on explicit religion. When respondents viewed it a second time, they used religious concepts. The analysis led to the construction of ordinary portraits constructed of previously not heard voices and challenged the earlier faces of academic partners. The window is a dialogically framed ‘lived experience’ breaking the ‘is’ of metaphor and the gestalt law of closure. This research explores the ‘is not’ of metaphor. It explores the relationship of image, metaphor and concept by focussing on window parts; the images of centre, line and web. The window becomes both a working metaphor and a model of working metaphors extensively used by these participants. Ordinary theology discovers through feminist metaphorical theology that concepts are metaphorical, focusing on both dissimilarities and similarities. The window as a visual image provides an opportunity to extend the concept and metaphor of ordinary theology. It invites academic professionals to an intensive fieldwork experience using a visual image to rediscover a general process of reflection and to reveal people’s indirect and implicit metaphorical ordinary theology.
    • The Pentecostal Missionary Union (PMU), a case study exploring the missiological roots of early British Pentecostalism (1909-1925)

      Morris, Wayne; Warner, Rob; Kay, William; Goodwin, Leigh (University of Chester, 2013-10)
      The Pentecostal Missionary Union (PMU) commenced in 1909 as a non-sectarian Pentecostal faith mission with many similarities to the China Inland Mission (CIM), influenced by the links of its President, Cecil Polhill, as one of the illustrious Cambridge Seven missionaries. In 1924 it amalgamated into the newly formed British Assemblies of God (AOG), with a full merger in 1925. This thesis reconstructs the historical narrative of the PMU examining its theology and praxis. This thesis is not a descriptive biographical narrative of the PMU’s leaders and missionaries but a historiography exploring the PMU’s development in its original context based on information provided by primary sources. Other than one 1995 Masters dissertation, no research has been conducted specifically on the PMU. This research seeks to recover the lost voice of early British non-sectarian Pentecostal missiology marginalized by Protestant mission historiography and overlooked by Pentecostal historiographers focused on American or later periods of Pentecostalism. Pentecostal historiographies have interpreted the twentieth century global revival movement largely through the ‘latter rain’ motif as an eschatologically providential event, discontinuous with previous ecclesiastical history. Pentecostal mission historiography is still developmental, especially in the employment of an historical roots methodology as opposed to traditional providential approaches. This thesis argues that early British Pentecostalism, before the Great War, originated as a non-sectarian mission movement strongly linked to antecedent faith mission roots, demonstrating the necessity for Pentecostals to engage with broader research methodologies that challenge traditional perceptions of the emergence and development of Pentecostalism. The Great War was interpreted with an apocalyptic lens that increasingly shifted Pentecostal eschatological emphasis away from missional urgency towards speculative application of Biblical prophecy with early twentieth century events. The severing of the PMU from its faith mission roots during the Great War, through CIM policy averse to Pentecostalism, reinforced Pentecostal perceptions of eschatological discontinuity and the need of a distinctive denominational identity in the uncertainty of the inter-war period. The lifespan of the world’s first modern Pentecostal missionary organisation was relatively short but it encompassed three specific periods of British history: prior to the Great War, the Great War years and the inter-War years This thesis utilises these three distinct periods to provide a progressive narrative highlighting the challenges within the PMU’s developmental history from non-sectarian faith mission to denominational mission department. The missiological emphasis of early Pentecostalism, as exemplified by the PMU, provides an understanding of the Pentecostal global phenomena a century later. Early 20th century Pentecostal revivals occurring in various places could have resulted in Pentecostalism remaining a localised sect but its significance grew through its emphasis on missiological urgency with pneumatological empowerment. Contemporary British and global Pentecostalism cannot be explained without historiographical reference to its earliest missiological roots including the PMU.
    • The Pentecostal-Charismatic movement in Zambia: Oral history of its emergence, evolution, development and ethos (1940s-2010s)

      Clark, Mathew S; Middleton, Paul; Makukula, Nelson (University of Chester, 2018-11-22)
      Since the late 1880s, Zambia has been engaged in a repeated series of encounters with Christian renewals. The arrival of Pentecostalism will be viewed as the palpable product of this intensely creative process. Zambian Pentecostalism emerged in continuity with the fruit of European Christian missionary enterprise, but its more contemporary version evolved in spontaneous response to the rise and ministry of influential local Zambian leaders such as Joel Chidzakazi Phiri, prophetess Alice Lenshina, evangelist Dr. Nevers Sekwila Mumba, Winston Broomes, and Jack and Winsome Muggleton. The activities of these key figures led to the formation and prominence of three main church streams across Zambia: Prophetic and Pentecostal-type Pentecostalism, Classical Pentecostalism and Neo-Pentecostalism. The brand of Pentecostalism that emerged in Zambia in the 1940s has been influenced by several theological, cultural, political and social influences. One noticeable feature of Zambian PentecostalCharismatic Churches has been their change in character across the decades from holiness and evangelistic traditions of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s to the faith and prosperity ministry of the 2010s. Pentecostal-Charismatic has become engaged in the public sphere by the early 1990s. A further development since the 2000s has been the prominence of the prophetic and apostolic, which is the combination of teaching mainly from the USA and various strands of previous ministries with an emphasis on miracles, deliverance, prosperity and prophecy.
    • The Perception and Impact of Countering Violent Extremism Programmes for Muslims in Sydney, Australia

      Scharbrodt, Oliver; McCaffrey, Claire (University of Chester, 2016-09)
      This thesis examines how the countering violent extremism initiatives implemented by the Australian government since 2011 have been received by Muslim communities in Sydney and the impact such measures have had, particularly, for those communities. Investigating the reception and impact of such initiatives both for and within Muslim communities, is vital in order to understand the scope of their reach and their efficiency. This thesis – addressing the lack of literature on this issue - will take the form of a case study of such programmes and their receipt by Muslim communities in Sydney, using primarily, qualitative research gathered through the use of semi-structured and unstructured interviews, as well as focus groups within Muslim communities in Sydney and policy reports gathered by both governmental and non-governmental bodies. Through an examination of the discourse adopted by the Howard government, in the period from 2001 to 2007, this study unearths and highlights the hostile, anti-Muslim environment in which the countering violent extremism measures were introduced. This environment was characterised by racism, negative stereotyping and vindication. Furthermore, through an analysis of this anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant narrative and discourse, the perceived threat posed by militant Islam to Australia and its interests constitutes both a process and discourse of securitisation by both the Howard government and the media. Data from fieldwork serves to evidence and reiterate the anti-Muslim undercurrent of Howard’s discourse maintaining the suspect community narrative and culminating in the securitisation of the Muslim population. The poor receipt of these measures by Muslim communities and the detrimental impact in terms of further marginalisation, alienation, and suspicion are testament to the counter-terror discourse and the growth in community based counter-terror measures.
    • Perichoresis, Pot Plants, Prayer Cards and Poiesis: A renewed pastoral paradigm emerging out of care of those with a dual diagnosis and conversations with midwives and obstetricians

      Prince, Alastair (University of Chester, 2015-01)
      This research arose from my experiences as a curate in England’s Northwest seeking to embody God’s love in the pastoral care of men with addiction and mental health issues (dual diagnosis), reflecting a wider societal issue around the care of people with that combination of problems, and the under-recognised role of clergy as unofficial ‘front-line mental health workers’. This is a role that clergy get little training to discharge effectively, and so the research methodology employed was that of a Constructivist Grounded Theory as I’ve attempted to use insights from a variety of disciplines to act as a ‘scaffold’ in order to work out what clergy could meaningfully and consistently offer. Treatment for those with a dual diagnosis is difficult and often unsuccessful because it requires a collaborative relationship between patient and carer where often there may be a lack of acceptance that the issues exist. Insights were sought then from a related, but different field, namely midwifery and obstetrics, engaging with intrauterine death – where the mother may not have completely accepted the realities that they face. Interviews were conducted with clergy in the field, midwives and obstetricians. Accounts of the experiences of dual diagnosed individuals were sought through existing evidence in the public sphere to minimise the risk of harm for research subjects. Analysis of the research data revealed that pastoral care in those situations of complex bereavement are about embracing the tension between absence and presence, and helping people through that liminality, to reappropriate their grief and expectations of what life ‘should be’ to ‘how life is’ and ‘how life might be in the future’. The significance of the role of objects is explored with particular emphasis on ‘memory boxes’, and their nearest equivalents in the field of dual diagnosis. These insights are connected to the academic study of the Doctrine of the Trinity, particularly focussing on the work of Sarah Coakley, with a thorough exploration of the metaphor of dance that has evolved around the concept of ‘perichoresis’ with connections made between doctrine and modern insights from dance studies. The result is a renewed pastoral paradigm that is collaborative, dynamic, liminal, and with an acceptance that care is not simply about ‘being present’, but about resourcing people for ‘absence’ as well through a poiesis that emphasises the freedom of the cared for, whilst encouraging and seeking what will motivate them to enter into the liminal space, a movement through which will enable their greater flourishing. This paradigm has implications beyond those with a dual diagnosis, and can be extended into pastoral care in its widest sense.
    • The Pneumatology of the Letter to the Hebrews: Confused, Careless, Cavalier or Carefully Crafted?

      Warrington, Keith; Hodson, Alan, K. (University of Chester, 2019-05)
      It is the majority position that Hebrews has little to add to NT pneumatology (see §1.1). However, that is far from the case. Indeed, on all seven occasions that the author of Hebrews refers to the Spirit, he does so using language and concepts that are unique in the NT. The Spirit both speaks (λέγω) words of Scripture (3:7) and testifies (μαρτυρέω) from Scripture (10:15) using words elsewhere described as God’s words to the congregation. Elsewhere in the NT, when the Spirit ‘speaks’ he does so through human agents (see §§4.3-4.4). However, in Hebrews he speaks directly to the hearers without the need for an intermediary (see §4.5). Furthermore, the Spirit interprets (δηλόω) Scripture (9:8) and this is the only place in the NT where the Spirit is said to function as hermeneut (see §§4.5.3, 8.3.1). The phrase ‘Spirit of grace’ (10:29) is also a NT hapax and ‘Eternal Spirit’ (9:14) is a Biblical hapax. In addition, the concept of believers becoming μέτοχοι of the Spirit (6:4) and the description of God validating the gospel message by ‘distributing’ (μερισμός) the Holy Spirit to followers of Christ (2:4) are also unique to Hebrews. After undertaking a close examination of all seven divine-πνεῦμα texts in Hebrews this thesis concludes that Hebrews has a significant, developed and unique pneumatology (§8.1). The author portrays the Spirit as personal, eternal and divine (§§8.2.2-8.2.4). He is actively involved in the atonement and the New Covenant (§8.3.3), showing the need for such a covenant (§8.3.1) and providing a partnership with each member of the New Covenant Community such that the Spirit enables that which the Covenant requires (§8.3.3). The Holy Spirit plays a crucial role in Hebrews. Both author and congregation experienced him as God, co-equal with the Father and the Son. In fact, Hebrews’ underlying pneumatology displays what might be called ‘Trinitarian coinherence’ (§§8.2.1, 8.4).
    • Poietic Hermeneutics: Making local paths

      Baker, Christopher T. H.; Watson, Derrick L. (University of Chester, 2017-06)
      This thesis argues for poietic hermeneutics as a work of gathering and re-siting which intervenes in the local material-discursive site. This is an interruptive tactic of the local church, seeking the flourishing of here through transitory, non-hegemonic acts of re-making. In developing this tactic I draw a critique of a practical theology discourse which, I argue, masks acts of making, with a consequent loss of attentiveness to materiality and a normative commitment to the development of practices internal to the church and the practitioner.
    • Postsecular Rapprochement: A Strategic Model for Church Engagement in a Postwelfare, Post-regeneration Age

      Baker, Christopher T. H.; Llewellyn, Dawn; Jones, Margaret A. (University of Chester, 2017-08)
      Since the global financial crisis of 2008-9 and the deficit reduction measures introduced by the British government from 2011, a new strategic deinstitutionalized model of community engagement has begun to emerge to address issues of social justice and environmental concern. Cloke (2011) identifies this new space of engagement as ‘rapprochement’. This research develops this concept, arguing that this organic, radical, social enterprise form of partnership offers the Established Church1 a potential means to engage in community-based social action in a postwelfare, post-regeneration age. A redistribution of power that seeks to enable agency and release enterprise, innovation and hope is at the heart of this new community-based model of partnership. These innovative enterprises are particularly evident in inner urban areas, although it is a model also appropriate for suburban and rural communities. This fresh model of partnership is a consequence of a developing nexus between rapprochement and austerity. Rapprochement emerges in what Habermas (2001 onwards) identifies as the postsecular. This acknowledges that religion, despite expectations to the contrary (Wilson 1982; Bruce 2002), continues to have a significant role in the public square. The global financial crisis and austerity measures imposed by the last two governments (2010-2015; 2015-2017) reflect a neo-liberal ideology leaving those least able to cope increasingly vulnerable and in need of support. A hermeneutic ethnographic approach accesses the experiences of leaders engaged in public, private and third sector organizations in a time of on-going austerity and considers their knowledge and understanding of partnership working. Data consists of 14 interviews and is triangulated with participant observation in two partnerships identified as examples of rapprochement. Case study helps clarify understandings of this new form of partnership. Dynamics characterizing these organic partnerships include a deep respect for hermeneutical integrity; a desire to create a sense of place, rather than space; a transformative form of hospitality and a style of leadership that enables the different stakeholders to acquire and develop a sense of agency. Innovative frameworks clarifying these dynamics include ideas of postsecularity, progressive localism, smart pluralism, and enablement. Alongside terms like personal responsibility, passion and vision, usual in partnership vocabulary, the research uncovered a more nuanced and sophisticated lexicon. This includes terms such as autonomy, brokering and process enablers. Rapprochement primarily encapsulates a person’s love for their neighbour. Those engaged in these partnerships practise a welcome engendering inclusivity, which offers a fresh theological understanding of hospitality. It also suggests a distinct theological understanding of leadership, espousing a model that draws others in, helping them to discover their gifts and constantly expanding and sharing leadership. This strategic deinstitutionalized model of partnership offers the Established Church an opportunity to join with others and to show, through praxis and community engagement, God’s bias for the poor and his longing for their enablement.
    • A practical theology of congregational song: Developing a wholesome “song of the people”.

      Morris, Wayne; Morris, Margaret A. (University of Chester, 2016-07-22)
      This thesis seeks to put in writing a practical theology of congregational song - the song of the people. Congregational song has been overlooked; studies of church music tend to focus on choral music and studies of hymns tend to look at words rather than music. This study seeks to tell the story of the song of the people, and to develop a practical theology of congregational song derived from the song itself and from a congregation’s reflections on that song.
    • Professional Practice and Pastoral Care: A Critical Analysis of the Manchester United Schoolboy Scholarship 2007 – 2012

      Whelan, Anthony M. (University of Chester, 2014-12)
      The Manchester United Schoolboy Scholarship is a comprehensive football and education programme allied with residential provision. Education takes place at a local High School, and the boys are accommodated with families who are carefully selected by the Club. Thus, talented young players between the age of 12 and 16 receive fulltime coaching and education in preparation for a career in professional football. The research will critically evaluate and assess a football programme for gifted young footballers with a view to constructing an holistic model of player welfare which seeks to address their sporting (football), educational, physical, psychological emotional and spiritual needs. This research will also explore the relevant theological, social and child rights issues relating to this sphere of professional practice. Oral data was assembled by conducting a series of semi-structured interviews with key personnel involved in the scholarship: players, coaches, teachers, parents and house-parents. The transcripts were then evaluated using the qualitative technique of thematic analysis from which five major themes emerged: leaving home, holistic development, life skills, mentoring and pastoral care. Thus the primary issues the thesis is concerned to explore unfold. This includes the sensitive nature of ‘inside’ research at a professional football club. The research discloses evidence of ‘best practice’ and the subtle management of the players’ physical, educational, emotional and spiritual needs. In short, the boys’ progress at football was not to the detriment of their holistic development as human beings. However, the data also shows that the collaboration between the coaching and school staff could be further developed and improved for the mutual benefit of both parties. Another important outcome of the research has been my personal and professional development as a reflective practitioner. The multi-disciplinary approach to this investigation has undoubtedly enhanced my knowledge and understanding of how concepts and themes from practical theology and other academic literature have informed my professional practice. The thesis also explores how a ‘child centred’ practical theology within youth sport contributes to the field of pastoral theology as a whole.
    • The quest for collaborative ministry: an investigation into an elusive practice in the Church in Wales

      Adams, Stephen, A. (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-07)
      Over at least fifty years, the Church in Wales (in common with the Church of England) has repeatedly called for the establishment of collaborative ministry (between clergy and between clergy and laity) both as a theological necessity and to respond to changing patterns of parochial organisation. The need to make these repeated exhortations implies that implementation has been at best patchy. My own experience, together with an Appreciative Inquiry approach to interviews with nine experienced clergy indicates that the culture of the institution is problematic concerning collaborative practices – particularly about the exercise of power. Using Pierre Bourdieu’s reflexive sociology, I locate my participants’ narratives within the framework of their habitus, the field of the Church in Wales, and the symbolic capital of individuals and groups. I argue that the Church in Wales defaults to unhelpful hierarchical or managerial notions of ministry and mission that too often set clergy and laity at odds with one another. I examine practices of teamwork that create inclusion, psychological safety, and that are grounded in social models of the Trinity. Such appropriation, in my assessment, establishes the groundwork for effective collaborative practice and underpins the human flourishing that is at the heart of the gospel.
    • Reading more than Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis

      Scharbrodt, Oliver; Dad Mohammadi, Mersedeh (University of Chester, 2016-11-19)
      This thesis reclaims the analysis of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. It is mindful of analysis of the stereotypical, and partial tendencies of orientalist representations of Satrapi’s work by both Iranian officials and “Western” media and readership. Themes are detected from this analysis and pertain to the message and intention of the author to create her work. The intentio lectoris1 (i.e. what audiences believe or led to believe) proposed that orientalist paradigms present the meaning of the work or Satrapi’s agenda, i.e. the intentio auctoris. Persepolis has been enthusiastically received all around the world, except in Iran. It has been described and interpreted as the critique of a courageous girl against the foundations of the Iranian Islamic Republic. Notwithstanding the success, the graphic novel and the animated movie derived from it in 2007 have been banned by the Iranian government, and subsequently Marjane Satrapi has been refused entry into the country. The polarised reception of Satrapi’s work in Iran and worldwide, is contextualised within (neo) orientalist critique. I detect in these receptions both potentials and problems. Reclaiming aspects of Persepolis’ analysis that have been excluded from and therefore devalued by external agencies is affirmed as a necessary and important contribution. However, I note that the overwhelming reluctance amongst “Western” media and news reporters to speak of Satrapi’s dual and neutral position, or to grasp at specificity her intentio auctoris, prevents us from a thorough discussion of their analysis. Satrapi’s work is ultimately left in the hands of clichés. I attempt to analyse Persepolis in such a way that it not only affirms rationality, fluidity, and duality, but also offers new and beneficial ways to argue Satrapi’s position and intention. My thesis is thus partly rooted in a feminist standpoint perspective to give voice to Satrapi’s agenda. What is more, it converses with similar restrictive regulations and contextualises them within an analysis of selected post-revolutionary autobiographical literature. My ultimate goal is to analyse the Iranian position towards Persepolis by making sense of the theological and political thought of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution, and the concept of velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the jurists) and the national and international responses to it in a way in which to take and transform the representation of Persepolis and Iranian culture consequently. This is done by explaining the current Iranian situation and Iranian responses to internal and external threats. Theological analyses and the explication of some of the historical complexities affecting modern Iran (especially after the revolution) would be beneficial along the way.
    • Reading the Bible Outside the Church: A Case Study

      Ford, David G. (University of Chester, 2015-10)
      Biblical studies and theology have been impacted by the “turn to the reader” in literary theory, and scholars are now more aware of the significance of the reader in the activity of Bible reading (Davies, 2013). However, most of the research exploring Bible readers has concentrated on active members of faith communities (Village, 2007; Rogers, 2009; Strhan, 2013) and University staff (Clines, 1995; Hull, 2001; Pyper, 2006). In Britain, those outside of the church and the academy are missing from this research, that is, the majority of the population. This thesis considers how people who are not regular Bible readers might read five biblical texts. In particular I focus on men, as the cohort of British society least likely to read the Bible (Field, 2014). Ten months of fieldwork was undertaken at a Chemical Industrial Plant in North West England, where 20 men read through five biblical texts. Using annotation, questionnaires and interviews I examined how the texts were read. The data which emerged shows that the men’s relationships with the five biblical texts shaped their readings of those texts. By “relationship” I am principally referring to the associations evoked in a reader as they come to a text. I argue for this relational reading practice in three ways. First, using Louise Rosenblatt’s transactional theory of reading (1995 [1938]; 1994 [1978]; 2005) I suggest that these readers and texts are not unconnected entities but exist within the same dynamic system. A reader brings all that they are to a text, and the aspects of each reader considered most salient to the anticipated reading assume an influential role in the reading transaction. Second, under the headings: “experience,” “identity,” “attitude’” and “belief,” I provide examples from my case study to illustrate this practice. These explore the various ways in which the men shaped their readings, indeed typically dominated them, as reading the texts reaffirmed their relationship with them. Third, however I also note a few occasions when the texts stimulated the reader into an atypical reading. This challenged the readers’ prior relationship with the texts and further demonstrates the relational nature of these readings, one involving both parties.
    • Responsible Before God: Human Responsibility in Karl Barth’s Moral Theology

      Clough, David; Fulford, Ben; Leyden, Michael (University of Chester, 2014-04)
      This thesis contributes to the recent scholarly re-evaluation of Karl Barth’s moral theology through an examination of the theme of human responsibility in his thought. The language of responsibility recurs throughout Barth’s ethical writings, and its frequency and strategic significance in his articulation of the nature of the active human agent in Christian ethics means it is worthy of scholarly consideration. To date, no extended study of this topic in Barth’s thought exists, and, apart from critical summaries of his use of responsibility language in select parts of the Church Dogmatics in corners of the secondary literature, responsibility-ethicists have tended to ignore Barth’s work on this topic. My intention, through exegetical reading of several key texts, is to provide explication, clarification, and analysis of his understanding of human responsibility. On the basis of this exegetical work I shall argue that the idea of responsibility is in fact a key component of Barth’s theological ethics and significantly informs his presentation of human agency. Following the introductory chapter, the central chapters of the thesis are exegetical readings of human responsibility in three major texts from the Barth corpus: the Ethics lectures; the ethics of CD II/2; and the special ethics of CD III/4. The fifth and final chapter is a synopsis of the development of Barth’s understanding and his articulation of human responsibility across these texts. My constructive proposal as to how we may understand Barth’s overall account is based on the preceding exegetical work. I argue that the ethics of the Church Dogmatics ought to be read together, and that in doing so we see that the mature Barth offers: 1) a theological description of human responsibility, which I argue is a kind of moral ontology in which the human agent is called to inhabit a particular space in relation to God; and 2) concrete indications of the kind of responsible actions that represent and enable the embedding of that description in human life. He develops what I term “indicative practices” which give shape to human lives, enabling human agents to navigate the moral space into which they have been placed. These two elements taken together are, I suggest, the sum of Barth’s account of human responsibility.
    • The resurrection and the restoration of nature: Towards a theological framework for Christian environmental action through ecological restoration

      Deane-Drummond, Celia; Artinian-Kaiser, Rebecca G. (University of Chester, 2015-02)
      The context in which we find ourselves at the beginning of the twenty-first century is one of acute environmental degradation. In this thesis, I examine how Christians may respond to the realities of degradation through ecological restoration, an environmental practice aimed at assisting the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded, damaged, or destroyed, and do so in ways that reflect the core belief in the redemptive purposes of God in Christ for creation. The intention, therefore, is to construct a theological framework for ethical responses to degradation through restoration. I begin by examining ecological restoration as a contested scientific and cultural practice, exploring the questions it raises on the nature of human life, the natural world, and moral action, and evaluating the role of history in shaping moral responses to degradation through restoration. To develop a theological framework for restoration, I engage the work of Christian ethicist Oliver O'Donovan, particularly his text on the foundations of Christian ethics: Resurrection and Moral Order. I ground this framework in his arguments for the resurrection (with its dual movements of restoration and transformation) as the starting point for moral action, for the work of the Holy Spirit who makes God’s redemption a reality that shapes moral action, and for love as the shape of moral action. I draw out the significance for restoration of his moral realist approach, examining the created order and articulating a theological anthropology, and I show how the resurrection of Christ provides a guide for restorative action that both affirms the created order and yet remains attentive and open to its, and our, transformation. Finally, through an examination of love as perceptive and responsive to the natural world, I articulate a vision for restorative action that is oriented toward upholding and preserving the value of the natural world, and attentively and creatively responding to it in ways that bring forth its value so that it may be seen for what it is: the beloved world that God has affirmed and redeemed in the resurrection and which awaits its fulfilment.
    • Reterritorialised Spirituality: A Study in Cathedral Mission

      Baker, Christopher T. H.; Bull, Robert D. (University of Chester, 2015-11)
      English Cathedrals have an established and valued place in their respective locations. Their central role is to provide “the seat of the bishop and a centre of worship and mission”. The contention is that whilst there may be clarity about mission in terms of worship, education and interpretation of the building, there is less clarity about where the energy should be focused in terms of a wider missional role. Recent reports have sought to measure the social and economic impact a cathedral has in terms of its local environs and its reach in terms of social and spiritual capital. The cultural context suggests a rapidly changing religious landscape where the movement, in a consumer society, is away from obligation and traditional forms of religiosity towards a more open understanding of spirituality with freedom to explore, to sample and to choose what to consume. This research approaches mission from a spiritual perspective. It creates also an outer/inner approach from which to establish its empirical work. As such it is concerned with the construction of theory; it follows an inductive approach, though is openly disposed to an inductive-deductive interaction where appropriate. It provides an in-depth methodology based on a case study scenario utilising the qualitative techniques of focus groups and semi-structured interviews through which to collect the data. There are four data-sets each presenting an outer/inner perspective. Of unique interest was the appearance of a sizeable Occupy camp, occupying the site outside the case study cathedral for fourteen weeks raising fundamental questions about economic and social inequality at a time when austerity measures were beginning to take effect. This critical incident drew the cathedral into a more public engagement with the big questions that impact upon our daily lives. A key finding from the empirical work in the case study is that alongside its ecclesial focus the perceived core priority must be its mission to the city through its invitation and welcome but also through its outreach. I use social capital theory to engage with aspects of ‘bonding’ and ‘bridging’. Beyond the functionalist approaches, cultural and symbolic capital enables a more reflexive understanding of institution and cathedral habitus. This moves the analysis from the horizontal to the vertical axis by which ‘linkages’ are made with mechanisms of power and issues of justice and care. This facilitates further dialogue with global flows and their impact on daily life which integrates with the critical incident that was Occupy. Further analytical methods were incorporated to engage with these macro themes. The theological investigation emanates from within three spiritualities, ‘ecclesial’, ‘mystical’ and ‘prophetic’. It seeks to focus on the spirituality of the community, the community’s engagement with the consumer-led ‘spiritual turn’ and its bridging/linking role in the wider community. As a theological device I use a typology taken from the reading of the psalms to convey orientation, disorientation and new orientation. It coheres in particular with themes of disenchantment and the search for deeper meaning. This thesis contributes to the field of knowledge and the corpus of literature by proposing a model of cathedral mission that draws upon its spiritual and social capital to engage within the liminal spaces of emergent spiritualities, and the contested spaces of disorientation and disenchantment recasting fresh theological moorings to engage meaningfully with issues of justice and care. The outcome is reflective, dynamic and strategic, “creating new understandings of existing issues” and interacting with “disparate concepts in new ways”.
    • The Role of Free Translation in Rendering the Collocational Phrases of the Quranic Text into English

      Ali, Abdalati (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-07)
      The following thesis presents an investigation into the problems of rendering the Arabic collocational phrases in the Quran into English. The research reveals that literal translation may sometimes deform the meaning of the collocations found in the source text, while free translation is able to convey a better sense of their implicit meaning. The thesis studies three translations of the Quran – those of Muhammad Pickthall (1930), Abdullah Ali (1934) and Al-Hilali and Khan (1974) – and undertakes an in-depth comparison of their translations of a selection of collocations. It explores the advantages and disadvantages of the methods adopted by the translators with the aid of the Quranic exegeses of Al-Tabari (839-923 CE), Al-Razi (544-604 CE), Al-Qurtubi (1214-1273 CE), and Ibn Kathir (1300-1373), and relevant works by prominent Muslim theologians such as AlDamaghany (1007-1085: 1983) and Ibn Al-Jawzy (510-597: 1987), as well as a number of established Arabic-English dictionaries, such as the Arabic-English Dictionary of Quranic Usage (DAEQU) (Abdel-Haleem and Badwi,2008), the Dictionary of the Contemporary Arabic Language (DCAL) (Omar,2008) ,and the Lisān Al-Arab (DLA) ( Ibn Manzur,1955). This research is the first of its kind to examine collocations in the Quran from the perspective of translation theory. It adopts the methodology of Peter Newmark’s (1988) semantic and communicative translation theory and James Dickins’ exegetic translation model (2002). The application of these theoretical approaches is intended to act as a guide for future translators of the Quran, particularly when faced with the problem of providing English translations of collocations that successfully convey the implicit meaning of the Arabic text. In addition, it recommends the use of some translation techniques suggested by Newmark (1995) and Vinay and Darbelnet (1958: 1995), such as paraphrases, footnotes, transpositions, cultural borrowing, additions, compensation and descriptive equivalents, which give the target readers a broader contextual knowledge and provide them with the tools they need to grasp the deeper meanings of these collocations.