• A daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition

      Dossett, Wendy; University of Chester (Wiley, 2017-02-02)
      Beliefs and emotions are commonly accepted features of spirituality, but spirituality also includes ‘disciplines’ and ‘practices’. While ‘professional’ language and the ‘spiritual’ practices of 12-Step may be framed differently, they are not substantively different discourses.
    • The demise of the Beothuk as a past still present

      Owen, Suzanne; University of Chester/Leeds Trinity University (Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions, 2015-04-29)
      This article aims to investigate contemporary cultural representations of the Beothuk Indians in art, literature and museum displays in Newfoundland, Canada, focussing on ways these reimagine the past for the present, offering perspectives on contested histories, such as the circumstances leading to the demise of the Beothuk. Wiped out through the impact of colonialism, the Beothuk are the ‘absent other’ who continue to be remembered and made present through the creative arts, largely at the expense of other indigenous groups on the island. Rather than focussing on the ‘non-absent past’, according to Polish scholar Ewa Domańska, ‘instead we turn to a past that is somehow still present, that will not go away or, rather, that of which we cannot rid ourselves’ (2006, 346). Depictions of the last Beothuk are part of a cultural remembering where guilt and reconciliation are played out through media of the imagination.
    • Depicting the Divine: The Ambiguity of Exodus 3 in Exodus: Gods and Kings

      Collins, Matthew A.; University of Chester (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2016-12-01)
      Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings offers a distinctly innovative approach to the perennial problem of how to depict the divine in film. This article first briefly considers some of the ways in which previous directors have grappled with the issue of depicting the divine, before assessing the effectiveness of Scott’s own ‘solution’, focusing in turn on questions of implied identity, tangibility, and character/imagery. In particular it is argued that, whether intentional or not, the ambiguity as to the specific identity of the divine character mirrors rather precisely an ambiguity present in the biblical text itself. Similarly, the manner in which the character is portrayed, while adopting and adhering to a number of modern tropes and keeping the door open to more naturalistic interpretations, likewise reflects (and indeed, can shed light upon) much that is in the textual tradition. Ultimately it is argued that Scott’s representation of the divine can be said to (perhaps unintentionally) reflect simultaneously both the most progressive and the most successfully ‘biblical’ depiction to date.
    • Development and environment: in dialogue with liberation theology

      Deane-Drummond, Celia (Blackwell, 1997-06)
      This article discusses the relationship between environmental issues and liberation theology and focuses on how liberation theology can contribute to the current debate over an inclusive enviromental theology.
    • Devotion and affliction in the time of cholera: ritual healing, identity and resistance among Bengali Muslims

      Ferrari, Fabrizio M.; University of Chester (Routledge, 2014-12-05)
      The chapter examines the worship of the cholera goddess Olā Bibi among Muslims of Bengal. Moving from an analysis of iconographic, mythical and ritual material, I investigate how Bengali Muslims have responded to the threat of cholera from early eighteenth century. The goddess has served as a catalyst to inform local identity and to challenge external agency in matter of disorder and social control. Yet while Bengali culture has facilitated a convergence of visions and programs in time of crisis (cholera epidemics and colonialism), the recent affirmation of militant Islamism has aggressively confronted indigenous healing practices thus causing major internal collisions in matter of community ethos, and a consequential loss of vernacular knowledge.
    • Dieting for Salvation: Becoming God by Weighing Less?

      Bacon, Hannah; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2015-12-17)
      This chapter argues that the historical legacy of suspicion towards the body, time and material existence forwarded in much classical theology also lurks behind contemporary cultural assumptions about weight. Drawing on the experiences of dieting women inside one UK secular commercial weight loss group this chapter argues that ancient theological understandings of salvation as a quest for perfection and hope for a future in which the body is reconditioned resurface in this secular context as women seek a similar future where their bodies do not take up so much space. Rendered theologically, salvation emerges as a spurious form of theosis as women’s efforts to remove their weight and freeze their bodies in time forge their bodies in the image of the phallic God. Attending mainly to the difficulties with such salvation narratives, the chapter ends by suggesting that a theological rooting of hope within the crucible of history has the potential to invest women’s present bodies with soteriological value.
    • Dissenting from Redemption: Judaism and Political Theology

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Berghahn, 2017-03-01)
      Beginning from a critique of Schmitt’s description of "secularised theological concepts" as insufficiently attentive to implicit religion, this paper utilises the concept of redemption as understood within Judaism and Christianity in order to investigate the problematique of inter-religious dialogue that is founded on “shared language”. It argues that political theology’s excessive attention to explicit forms of religion fails to account for the important role theological concepts play in forming implicit, unexamined pre-philosophical attitudes about the way the world works, and thus gives rise to a problematic illusion of shared values.
    • Divine Imaginaries: The Turn to Literature in the Feminist Theology and Spirituality

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

      Bacon, Hannah; University of Chester (T & T Clark, 2011-06-23)
      This chapter examines the principles and practices of secular dieting and Christian thought surrounding the issue of female desire and body image.
    • Does sustainable development have a future?

      Deane-Drummond, Celia; University of Chester (T & T Clark, 2011-06-23)
      This chapter discusses ideas of Western social justice and the moral urgency to deal with the issue of climate change in the developing world.
    • Doing God? Public theology under Blair

      Graham, Elaine L.; University of Chester (Continuum, 2009-03-31)
      This book chapter discusses the relationship between faith and politics in Tony Blair's New Labour.
    • Dominic Keech, The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (Sage Publications, 2014-02-13)
      Book review.
    • The dynamics of Sikh fundamentaliam

      Geaves, Ron; Chester College of Higher Education (Paternoster Press, 2002-12-01)
      This book chapter discusses the campaign for an independent Sikh state in the Punjab called Khalistan, Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the the Khalsa discipline.
    • Early Christian voluntary martyrdom: A statement for the defence

      Middleton, Paul; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2013-09-02)
      Many studies of early Christian martyrdom have noted the phenomenon of voluntary martyrdom. However, most scholars, drawing on criticism of the practice found in the Martyrdom of Polycarp and Clement of Alexandria, dismiss those who provoked their own arrest and death as deviant, heretical, or numerically insignificant. This article argues instead that the earliest Christian martyrologies celebrate voluntary martyrdom as a valid mainstream Christian practice, which faced only isolated challenge in the first three centuries. Furthermore, pagan sources support the view that voluntary martyrdom was a significant historical as well as literary phenomenon. As there is no reason to conclude voluntary martyrdom was anything other than a valid subset of proto-orthodox Christian martyrdom, more attention should be paid to this phenomenon by early Christian historians.
    • Ecclesiastes through the centuries

      Christianson, Eric; University of Chester (Blackwell, 2007-12-18)
      This book discusses the effects Ecclesiastes has had on religion, art, social thought, music, and literature.
    • Ecclesiasticus, War Graves, and the secularization of British Values

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (De Gruyter, 2018-01-05)
      This article reads the design of the British Imperial War Graves cemeteries in the context of the religious pluralism of the late Empire. Reviewing the deliberations of the design committee and parliamentary debates on the design of the cemeteries, it notes that the Christian character of the cemeteries was relatively muted, a design decision which caused no small amount of public and political controversy, but which permitted the cemeteries to present an image of a unified Empire. The paper argues that the choice of quotations specifically from the apocrypha was an important and deliberate aspect of this presentational strategy.
    • Eco-theology

      Deane-Drummond, Celia; University of Chester (Darton, Longman & Todd, 2008-06-23)
      This book discusses trends in ecology and environment, economics and environmental justice, eco-theology in different parts of the world, Biblical eco-theology, eco-theology and Christology, and eco-Feminist theology.
    • Ecology in Jurgen Moltmann's theology

      Deane-Drummond, Celia; Chester College of Higher Education (The Edwin Mellen Press, 1997-09-30)
      This book discusses and assesses theological contexts of Jurgen Moltmann's ecological doctrine of creation and his work God in creation. It is a revised version of a PhD thesis at the University of Manchester in 1992.
    • Editorial: Hope in the Midst of Ruins

      Graham, Elaine L.; University of Chester
      This editorial article introduces the papers originally given at the annual conference of Modern Church, on the theme of "Theology in the Public Square", held in July 2019. It considers what and how, and with what authority, the Christian churches might speak on public issues in the midst of challenges such as Brexit, inequality and globalisation. The church might speak, but is anyone listening?