• 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.
    • Seeing and Showing the Unseen: Towards a Methodology of Utilizing Cognitive Linguistics in Biblical Preaching that Employs Metaphors and Images

      Szumorek, Adam P (University of Chester, 2018-12)
      This thesis suggests ways in which Cognitive Linguistics can be employed in hermeneutics and homiletics to enhance the methodology of using metaphors and images in sermons to convey the meaning of biblical texts in general and biblical metaphors in particular. Considering the fact that Cognitive Linguistics is a secular and pragmatic science, I begin my study with providing a theological framework for applying it to hermeneutics and homiletics by referring to the idea of God’s revelation. In order to justify using metaphors and images in sermons I show that biblical revelation abounds with images because God revealed himself creating people in his image, that Christ is the perfect image of the Father, and the Holy Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ. In order to show how Cognitive Linguistics can contribute to preaching, basic assumptions of this theory are presented. Some general heuristic principle for the interpretation of biblical metaphors seen as a part of wider discourse are formulated. Finally, the thesis shows the practical implications of applying Cognitive Linguistics to preaching which can be seen in the proposed methodology of reworking existing biblical metaphors and creating new metaphors that convey the meaning of biblical texts that might be non-metaphorical. The whole thesis concludes with a practical scheme of developing macro and micro sermon imagery.
    • Sermon listening among the Croatian Baptists: A New Approach Based on Congregational Studies and Rhetoric

      Seba, Enoh (University of Chester, 2019-04)
      The recent homiletical literature reveals the 'turn to the listener' as a widespread trend of attempting to minimize the gap between the pulpit and the pew and indicates the increase in the reappropriation of various rhetorical contributions. At the same time, the development of congregational studies has encouraged practical theologians to conduct empirical studies in order to explore the highly contextual nature of sermon listeners' involvement in the practice of preaching. The investigation of my immediate context, however, proves that preaching holds a precious place in the theology and life of Croatian Baptist churches, but also identifies the absence of empirical research that probes their preaching practice from the hearers' perspective. These are the reasons why this study is motivated by the following research question: What are the real expectations and receptiveness of the Croatian Baptists as sermon listeners, and how can these findings be utilised to improve the quality of preaching? To become able to articulate dependable answers, I conducted a qualitative field study based on a phenomenological approach, using semi-structured interviews with eighteen members of five local Baptist congregations located in four Croatian towns. The gathered feedback was interpreted by means of three rhetorical modes of appeal (logos, ēthos, and pathos) which served a purpose of identifying their actual expectations and (dis)engaging factors that direct their listening participation and sermon reception. The same data was submitted to critical theological reflection, aiming at the theological warrants for the constructive suggestions for the transformation of preaching practice. The findings from the research demonstrate that participants tend to hold a high view of preaching, and yet many of them report the unmet expectations which may lead to lowering their expectations. Among the most prominent interviewees' expectations are: hope that the sermon will provide direction in their everyday life, desire to meet God during the sermon and to have their devotional reading of the Bible enhanced by sermon listening, a longing to have their spiritual batteries recharged, and anticipation that preaching should question their status quo and challenge them to change themselves. Also, the study indicates that triggering the listeners' identification boosts their reception of the message and promotes their engagement. Although these particular findings are not generalisable, they nevertheless point to the possibility of an important implication: backing up the listeners' expectations with their active responsibility for the preaching may transform the entire practice into a constructive enterprise that bridges the gap between hearers and preachers. The specific suggestions, based on the study findings, to the preachers and listeners in Croatian Baptist churches may serve both as an illustration of how preaching can be reestablished as a truly congregational practice and as an impetus for further studies in different contexts.
    • The Significance of Crucible Experiences in the Development of a Selection of Northern Irish and Other Evangelical Christian Leaders

      Wilson, John S. A. (University of Chester, 2016-10)
      Among terms used to describe the events and experiences that contribute to the shaping of leaders is Warren Bennis’ and Robert Thomas’ ‘crucibles’. Their use of the term emerged from a series of interviews with leaders who had come of age in two distinct eras: all the leaders interviewed referred to a transformative experience that had contributed to their leadership. The aim of this research was to explore the significance of such experiences in the development of Christian leaders. A sample of fourteen evangelical leaders was selected and each leader participated in an in-depth qualitative interview. Their experiences were classified using Robert Thomas’ three types of crucible: new territory, reversals and suspension. Analysis of the experiences demonstrated how crucible experiences had a part to play in shaping both the character and calling of a leader: at times crucibles functioned as intensified learning experiences in which a leader’s beliefs took on an existential intensity. The emerging themes of character and calling are significant in both Old and New Testaments and the project reflected theologically on these. While crucibles may be significant features in the development of a leader, they do not tell the whole story: a range of factors and influences, some of which work in a more gradual way, are also part of a leadership journey.
    • Spiritual formation in secondary education: An investigation into how children use collective worship within secondary education

      Graham, Elaine; Llewellyn, Dawn; Birkinshaw, Stephen J. (University of Chester, 2018-09-03)
      The past thirty years has witnessed significant changes in the practice of collective worship in UK schools, although the statutory requirements relating to collective worship have not changed since 1988. Predominantly, collective worship in schools is managed and delivered by adults. However I became aware, from my professional context and practice as a chaplain in a faithbased urban secondary school, little attention has been given to the ways children actually experience and make use of collective worship. The aim of my research has therefore been to gain a more child-centred perspective on collective worship, and to generate a deeper understanding of how children might use collective worship to reflect on their relationships and life experiences. My research methods reflect the aim to privilege the children’s voices: the primary data source comes from children’s own accounts of participating in collective worship, using a longitudinal qualitative method across four years. Using a definition drawn from Hay and Nye (1996, 2006) and Hyde (2008), the study employs thematic analysis to interpret the data using the framework of spirituality as relationship with God (or Transcendent), self and other (including people and the world). The results revealed in this study show that children construct collective worship as a sacred space in which they are able to reflect on their own understandings of God, faith and the world. Crucial to this process is an emerging sense of self and its connection with these relationships. Through critical reflection within collective worship children encounter a particular dynamic that I have identified as reluctance-permission-opportunity. I therefore argue this dynamic underpins a child’s evolving sense and awareness of faith and relationship with God, other and self, and represents aspects of a three-dimensional model of spiritual reflection and maturity. The study concludes that the sacred space of collective worship is actively constructed by the children, building on the established frameworks offered by the statutory provision of school-based collective worship. The constructed sacred space of collective worship is – for the children – precious, set apart, revelatory, special and life-changing. As such there is a sense of ownership by the children of this sacred space. This thesis suggests new approaches to researching and understanding children’s spirituality as well as implications for professional practice. It represents a contribution to knowledge by advancing a more nuanced understanding of children’s spiritual development than currently exists. The notion of a three-dimensional dynamic also offers a contribution to theoretical understandings of the concepts of spiritual formation. The findings of the research are seen as having implications for professional practice in collective worship by arguing for a child-centred approach to critical spiritual exploration and reflection, and therefore to the design and provision of collective worship.
    • The Structure of the Poetic Text: Structural Cohesion and Foregrounding as the Dual Rhetorical Discourse Function of Linguistic Parallelism in Biblical Hebrew Poetry

      Firth, David G.; Ayars, Matthew I. (University of Chester, 2016-07-31)
      The present project, by employing Roman Jakobson's conceptualisation of parallelism and literary linguistic analysis, argues that linguistic parallelism occurring at all levels of language (from phoneme to syntagmeme) in biblical Hebrew poetry has a dual rhetorical discourse function of foregrounding and structural cohesion. It is proposed that patterned grammatical-syntactic continuity and deviation at a colometric level creates poetic unity that harmonises the poem’s internal diversity and poetic variation across macrostructural levels that fosters foreground semantic components of the text. As the poetic text moves forward as a discourse, the diversity created by grammatical-syntactic deviation becomes patterned with a regular form of sequence that creates structural cohesion within the poem as discourse. After outlining the state of current research on biblical Hebrew poetry and exploring Jakobson’s poetics and their relevance to this project, the heart of the work is a detailed analysis of each poetic line in Psalms 113–118. These were chosen as a representative sample in order to test the validity of the model.
    • A study of Matthew 8.16-17 seeing Jesus' healing as the fulfilment of Isaiah 53.4a through narrative analysis

      Clark, Mathew; Clay, Martin; Kwak, Woosong (University of Chester, 2017-05)
      The aim of this study is to explore the issue, whether or not Matthew in 8.16- 17 quotes Isaiah 53.4a as a proof-text without considering its context. This issue of the quotation has a great significance for two areas: hermeneutics and theology. First, the hermeneutical significance of the quotation is concerned with the issue, whether the intention and method of Matthew’s quotations of the Old Testament is a contextual approach or a non-contextual approach. Second, the theological significance of the quotation is connected to theoretical (dogmatic) and practical theology. Firstly, the significance for theoretical theology is concerned with the discussion of Matthean Christology: the identity of Jesus, the nature of his healing ministry; the provenance of his understanding of atonement. Particularly, the last one is crucial, for the whole Christian doctrine of Atonement depends on the answer to this problem. Secondly, the significance for practical theology is related to the discussion of “healing in the atonement” in Charismatic circles. This discussion can be progressed, only when it is shown that Matthew quotes Isaiah 53.4a in Matthew 8.16-17 with regard to its context, because this at least provides the basis for such a discussion. This study has attempted to treat the issue of the quotation by applying narrative analysis to Matthew 8.16-17 and the necessary part of Isaiah 52.13-53.12. This analysis includes semantic, linguistic philosophical, literary and theological explorations. With this analysis, this study has discovered an answer to the issue and some important findings, which are significant in terms of methodology, hermeneutics and theology. The answer provided by this study is that Matthew does not quote Isaiah 53.4a as a proof-text without considering the context. Rather, he, familiar with the context, quotes it in Matthew 8.16-17 in order to strategically affect the implied reader’s recognition of Jesus as, firstly, the suffering servant who is finally to offer himself as a guilt offering or a ransom, and secondly, as the Messiah. The findings are the significance of “prolepsis” in Matthew; the relationship between “ransom” lu,trον and “guilt offering” םשָ אָ ; complementary parallelism (the relationship between structure and meaning); the complementary structure of the “we” and “they” in the unfolding narrative of Isaiah 52.13-53.12; the death of the servant; and the relationship of “diseases” and “sufferings/sorrows” in 53.4a. All of these findings have enabled this study to trace the events of Jesus’ ministry and their underlying causes as far as possible to the depiction of the servant in Isaiah 52.13-53.12.