• A Teleological Mode of Conditionality in Early Buddhism

      Jones, Dhivan Thomas; University of Chester
      In addition to the twelve links (nidānas) of dependent arising (paṭicca-samuppāda), early Buddhist texts record a series of stages of the path to awakening, called “preconditions” (upanisās), which in the Pāli Upanisā Sutta (S 12: 23; pts ii.29–31) are joined in one series. Modern western Buddhists take this one series to imply that nidānas and upanisās exemplify an over-arching principle of conditionality. In this article I argue that the upanisās exemplify a distinctively teleological mode of conditionality. I investigate (i) the images of a tree coming to full growth and rain flowing to the seas used to illustrate the upanisās, (ii) the distinctly goal-directed language used in relation to the stages of the path, and finally (iii), I propose, via a discussion of Aristotle on teleology, that the upanisās represent a teleological mode of conditionality, such that each stage of the path becomes the condition for the next, in relation to an aim or goal of awakening. I argue that the series of upanisās has a normative, rather than phenomenological, character, and I compare the series to a recipe. I conclude with the suggestion that the similarity between upanisās and nidānas lies in their being necessary conditions, and that this similarity constitutes a “family resemblance” (in Wittgenstein’s phrase). The over-arching principle of conditionality is not a feature of reality over and above such a family resemblance.
    • Television and the Bible in American Popular Culture

      Collins, Matthew A.; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2021-01-20)
      This essay examines the Bible in American television, focusing in particular on the twenty-first century. It suggests that there are three broad categories which may helpfully illustrate and encompass the diverse ways in which the Bible appears and/or is utilized: (i) educating about the Bible (e.g., documentaries); (ii) dramatizing the Bible (renditions of biblical stories); and (iii) drawing on the Bible (the impact or use of the Bible in other television programs). Examining each of these in turn, this essay highlights the prevalence of the Bible within television and thus within American popular culture more generally, as well as considering some of the myriad ways in which it has been read, used, and interpreted. In particular, it endeavors to show how the medium can function as a tool for both reflecting and promoting levels of biblical literacy among its audience.
    • Temple, Sex, Gender and Society

      Graham, Elaine; University of Chester (Sage Publications, 2022-07-04)
      This article gives an overview of the main economic, legal and cultural changes around the role of women, debates about gender identity and patterns of marriage and the family that have taken place over the past 80 years since Christianity and Social Order was first published.
    • Text, Intertext, and Conceptual Identity: The Case of Ephraim and the Seekers of Smooth Things

      Collins, Matthew A.; University of Chester (Brill, 2017-05-12)
      This essay first highlights some ambiguities in the use of “Judah” and “Ephraim” (and to a lesser extent, “Manasseh”) in the Qumran sectarian Dead Sea Scrolls, which together problematize a straightforward reading of these typological labels in relation to distinct (let alone historical) groups. It then turns to focus on “Ephraim” and its seemingly unprompted employment as an identifying label for “the Seekers of Smooth Things.” Proposing an alternative sectarian provenance for this conceptual identification, it suggests that the explicit association of “Ephraim” with “the Seekers of Smooth Things” (and indeed the community of the Liar) in the pesharim both derives from and builds upon implicit scriptural allusions present in the Damascus Document.
    • ‘That bhikkhu lets go both the near and far shores’: meaning and metaphor in the refrain from the uraga verses

      Jones, Dhivan T.; University of Chester (Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, 2016-11-31)
      The uraga (‘serpent’) verses are some early Buddhist stanzas, preserved in different versions, each with the refrain (in Pāli at Sn vv.1–17) so bhikkhu jahāti orapāraṃ, urago jiṇṇam iva tacaṃ purāṇaṃ, ‘That bhikkhu lets go both the near and far shores, like a serpent its worn-out old skin’. The meaning of orapāra, ‘near and far shores’, has posed a problem for ancient and modern commentators, because according to the usual metaphor of ‘crossing the flood’ the bhikkhu lets go the ‘near shore’, which is saṃsāra, to reach the safety of the ‘far shore’, which is nirvāṇa. I discuss some commentarial and recent discussions of the refrain, before presenting two possible solutions to this problem: first in terms of the old binary cosmology, whereby the bhikkhu lets go the ‘near shore’ of this world and the ‘far shore’ of the other, and second in terms of the ‘stream of the Dharma’ metaphor, in which the bhikkhu lets go the ‘near shore’ of the subjective sense spheres and the ‘far shore’ of the objective sense spheres. I conclude with a consideration of metaphor in the uraga verses refrain, and how the refrain may be an example of early Buddhist non-dualism.
    • The human face of God: notes on a journey through practical theology

      Graham, Elaine; orcid: 0000-0002-0358-0624 (Informa UK Limited, 2020-02-23)
    • Theological perspectives over 150 years

      Ridley, Stephen J. (Governors of Chester College, 1989)
      This articles dicusses worship and College church services from 1839 to 1989.
    • Theology and the culture of the sciences

      Deane-Drummond, Celia (Blackwell, 2000-01)
      This article discusses the relationship between religion and science. It focuses on facts and values, encultured science, exploring elements of scientific culture, theology and scientism, and theology and the future of science.
    • Theology and the Public Square: Mapping the Field

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

      Clough, David (Continuum, 2004-05-01)
      This book chapter discusses how social and political activism undertaken by Methodists can help to understand Methodist theology.
    • Theology without words: Theology in the deaf community

      Morris, Wayne; University of Chester (Ashgate, 2008-07-28)
      This book is a study of theology in the deaf community. It examines the issues facing the deaf community in undertaking theological research.
    • Thinking about Marriage with Scripture

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (SCM Press, 2016-02-28)
      In this chapter, I articulate theological grounds, drawn from the way New Testaments texts relate scriptural texts to the identity and presence of Jesus Christ, for an approach to using biblical texts to think through a theological understanding of marriage and human sexuality oriented around the way human beings are identified relative to God and Jesus Christ in biblical narrative. In this approach paranetic texts are taken not as giving absolute rules but offering formation in reasoning about these matters of belief and practice in accordance with who God is, and who we are relative to God. The remainder of the chapter begins that process by looking at creation stories and the import of the way they identify humans relative to God for these issues.
    • Thiselton on hermeneutics: The collected works and new essays of Anthony Thiselton

      Thiselton, Anthony; University of Chester (Ashgate, 2006-11-29)
      This book provides select expositions and critical discussions of hermeneutics as a multidisciplinary area.
    • Three Ways of Denying the Self

      Jones, Dhivan Thomas; University of Chester
      Buddhist philosophers have tried to work out the implications of the Buddha’s teaching of non-self (anattā). I characterise the teaching of non-self in the Pāli discourses, noting that, although the Buddha denied the existence of a ‘metaphysical’ self, he did not completely deny the ‘everyday’ self but presupposed the ‘I’ as a continuously identical moral agent. I go on to explain three attempts to explain the Buddha’s teaching. (1) Nāgasena in the Milindapañha uses the chariot argument to show that the self, like a chariot, is a conventional designation for a functional arrangement of parts. (2) The Yogācāra philosopher Vasubandhu argues that the self is a cognitive mistake and that in reality there is only non-dual awareness. (3) The Madhyamaka philosopher Candrakīrti argues that there is the appearance of a self but it does not exist in the way that it appears. I conclude that these ways of denying the self are distinct and that Candrakīrti’s way seems closest to the Buddha’s as recorded in the Pāli canon.
    • Tolerance isn't enough!

      Greggs, Tom; University of Cambridge (2007)
    • Topos and Utopia: The place of art in the Revolution

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Rodopi, 2014-10-03)
      This book chapter discusses nationalism, art, and the invention of aniconism; the Bezalel School; and the Vitebsk School.
    • Towards a Liberation Theology of Indigenous Minority Language Groups: A Case Study on the Welsh Language.

      Morris, Wayne; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2016-06-02)
      The status of indigenous minority language groups in Europe has been underresearched in theology and religious studies. In the United Kingdom alone, besides English, there are at least ten languages that are indigenous to these islands and many who use those languages see all that is associated with their linguistic identity under threat: music, arts and literature; communities; ways of thinking; ways of being in the world. This article focuses on Welsh language users in particular as both a minority and oppressed group in the United Kingdom. Along with a concern for other experiences of oppression, this paper argues that the experiences of minority language groups need to be taken seriously by scholars of religion and theology and invites contributions from our disciplines to debates about the place and status of minority language groups. To that end, this paper begins to map the contours of a liberation theology of the Welsh language.
    • Towards a New Homiletic

      Shercliff, Liz (SAGE Publications, 2020-09-11)
      Feminism’s contribution to homiletics so far has arguably been restricted to exploring gender difference in preaching. In 2014, however, Jennifer Copeland identified a need not merely to ‘include women “in the company of preachers” but to craft a new register for the preaching event’. This article considers what that new register might be and how it might be taught in the academy. It defines preaching as ‘the art of engaging the people of God in their shared narrative by creatively and hospitably inviting them into an exploration of biblical text, by means of which, corporately and individually, they might encounter the divine’ and proposes that in both the Church and the Academy, women’s voices are suppressed by a rationalist hegemony. For the stories of women to be heard, a new homiletic is needed, in which would-be preachers first encounter themselves, then the Bible as themselves and finally their congregation in communality. Findings of researchers in practical preaching discover that women preachers are being influenced by feminist methodology, while the teaching of preaching is not. In order to achieve a hospitable preaching space, it is proposed that the Church and the Academy work together towards a new homiletic.