• Walking in balance: Native American recovery programmes

      Owen, Suzanne; University of Chester / Leeds Trinity University (MDPI, 2014-10-20)
      This article reviews Native American ritual practices, frameworks and key concepts employed by several substance abuse treatments centres in the U.S. and Canada. It also examines the way Alcoholics Anonymous’ Twelve Step programme has been modified to attract and serve the needs of Native Americans and First Nations and its potential impact on the ritual practices. Native concepts of wellbeing are highlighted and linked to the idea of living in “balance”.
    • Were the Early Christians Really Persecuted

      Middleton, Paul; University of Chester (Amsterdam University Press, 2019)
      In their writings, the Early Christians presented themselves as a suffering community, facing intolerance and misunderstanding from Jew and Gentile alike, to the extent that in Acts, the Jewish community in Rome are made to declare of early Christianity, ‘we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect’ (Acts 28.22). However, historians generally recognise that while members of the early Church undoubtedly did face some harassment, there was no empire-wide policy against Christianity until well into the third century, and even then, these were short lived. Where Christians experienced persecution, it tended to be localised, sporadic, and random, and resulted from pockets of prejudice rather than any official imperial interest in the Church. If we see those who take at face value the deutero-Pauline claim that ‘all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted’ (2 Tim 3.12) as representing a ‘maximalist’ view of persecution, then, in direct contrast, what might be termed a ‘minimalist’ account is gaining popularity among scholars. Minimalists go beyond the view that Christians faced ‘periodic persecution’, and conclude that in all significant respects, the Christian narrative of persecution is a constructed myth. Moreover, they tend to turn Christian charges against their pagan neighbour of intolerance back onto the early Church, arguing that in a Roman environment of general imperial tolerance towards varieties of beliefs and practices, it was Christian intolerance and intransigence that led to their appearances before magistrates. However, this was not persecution in any meaningful sense, but prosecution. Both maximalist and minimalist accounts of early Christian experiences of suffering construct a context in which a generally tolerant group encounter an intolerant ‘other’. Depending on which approach is adopted, either Christians or Romans were the ‘victims’ of intolerance. In light of this apparent scholarly paradigm shift, I return to the basic question: were the early Christians persecuted? First I outline the formerly dominant ‘persecution paradigm’, arguing that this way of presenting Christian experience is already promoted in New Testament texts. Next, I evaluate recent revisionist ‘minimalist’ accounts, noting that the idea Christians invented—or at least exaggerated—the extent of the persecution can be found as far back as the eighteenth century. These re-evaluations offer an important and valuable corrective to the maximalist approach. However, minimalists, I argue, tend to simply replace a one-sided Christian reading of history with an equally skewed Roman perspective. Instead, I offer a reading which might be categorised as ‘modified minimalism’, in which I sidestep the persecution/prosecution dichotomy, and conclude that while it is certainly the case that Romans would have understood their (albeit limited) actions against Christians as prosecutions designed to protect the integrity of the State, Christians experienced those actions, not without reason, as persecution. I argue that Christians and Romans were indeed ‘tolerant’ of the other—just not where it mattered!
    • What is martyrdom?

      Middleton, Paul; University of Chester (Routledge, 2014-03-12)
      In the aftermath of 9/11, and the increase of the phenomenon of ‘suicide bombing’, it has become important for politicians, academics, and religious leaders to distinguish between ‘true’ and ‘false’ manifestations of martyrdom. In order to do so, and to counter those who argue for the legitimacy of the suicide-attack, they must appeal to an objective and shared definition of martyrdom. However, as this article demonstrates, such a definition is elusive. Moreover, the quest to find one is doomed to failure; martyrdom has always been a contested phenomenon. Even excluding those who kill themselves or others from martyr-status is problematic, as examples of those remembered as martyrs are found in Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions. Official ecclesiastical canonisation processes are vulnerable to popular acclamation of ‘unofficial’ martyrs, and in any case churches often break their own rules. While mining the earliest Christian usage of the term ‘martus’ might appear promising, martyrdom was no less controversial in the early church, and functioned primarily as a means of creating and maintaining group identity, especially in the context of intra-Christian conflict. By examining martyrological narratives from the early, Reformation, and modern periods–where I show that martyrologies can be created quite separately from their martyr’s actual convictions–I argue that attempts to distinguish between true and false ideologies of martyrdom are simply replaying historical disputes, and should be read as contributions to the martyrological process of creating or maintaining religious or political group identity.
    • What's right with the Trinity? Conversations in feminist theology

      Bacon, Hannah; University of Chester (Ashgate, 2009-12-18)
      This book discusses the doctrine of the Trinity and the problems it poses for feminist theology.
    • Whatever Happened to the Laity?

      Graham, Elaine L.; University of Chester (2015-02-07)
      The preoccupation of many of the churches over recent times with questions of gender and sexuality in relation to who is and is not permitted to be ordained has taken place at the expense of other, equally fundamental questions about the nature of the church’s ministry overall, and to the roles, responsibilities and training of the laity. It is time to turn our attention to the question of the role of the laity and the work they do as members of the Church in the world. Throughout Christian history, people have been asking the same question: what about the laity? Who are the laity? Whatever happened to the laity? Why is it that despite successive waves of innovative, exciting debate towards a theology of the laity from the mid-twentieth century is a theology of the laity still such a neglected area? Why has theological reflection on the laity been afforded such low priority – and even when it has taken place, why has it not proved of lasting and sustainable impact?
    • What’s missing? Gender, reason and the post-secular

      Graham, Elaine L.; University of Chester (Equinox, 2012)
      This journal article discusses the role of gender in the contemporary debate around the post-secular.
    • Where streams meet? Ecology, wisdom and beauty in Bulgakov, von Balthasar and Aquinas

      Deane-Drummond, Celia; University of Chester (T & T Clark, 2006-03-23)
      This book chapter discusses the relationship between religious concern and environmental science, including the science of climate change.
    • Why do some people eat meat?

      Clough, David; University of Chester (Methodist Publishing House, 2005)
      This journal article discusses whether meat eating can be morally justified.
    • Why does the Church need academic theology?

      Greggs, Tom; University of Cambridge (Methodist Publishing House, 2006-04)
    • Why practical theology must go public

      Graham, Elaine L.; University of Manchester (Equinox, 2008)
      This journal article makes the case for a strong affinity between pastoral studies and practical theology as conceived in the UK and the emerging field of public theology.
    • A window on the soul: Four politicians on politics and religion

      Graham, Elaine L.; University of Manchester (Brill, 2009-01-01)
      This journal article examines public statements abouth the relationship between private faith and public reason made by Tony Blair (UK), Kevin Rudd (Australia), Barack Obama (USA), and Helen Clark (New Zealand).
    • Wonder and wisdom: Conversations in science, spirituality and theolgy

      Deane-Drummond, Celia; University of Chester (Darton, Longman & Todd, 2006-03-27)
      This book discusses the themes of wonder and wisdom and how they can both contribute towards a spirituality based on understanding both science and theology.
    • The work of creation: Image, idolatry, and Jewish discourse in theology and the arts

      Vincent, Alana M.; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2015-05-16)
      The Second Commandment, prohibiting both the worship and manufacture of graven images, is often employed as a mechanism for explaining a perceived absence of Jewish participation in the visual arts, in spite of a well recorded history of Jewish participation in the manufacture of graven images which are typically classed as craft objects. This article aims to introduce to theology the scepticism towards hierarchical distinctions between art and craft which is already familiar in the world of art theory, and by so doing prompt a dislocation of theological reflection on works of art from the point of visual engagement to the point of manufacture. It suggests that attentiveness to Jewish discourses about material production opens up interesting and potentially generative possibilities for work in theology and the arts beyond the consideration of specifically Jewish art.
    • Yearbook of Muslims in Europe Vol. 8

      Scharbrodt, Oliver; Akgonul, Samim; Alibasic, Ahmet; Nielsen, Jorgen S.; Racius, Egdunas; University of Chester, University of Strasbourg, University of Sarajevo, University of Birmingham, Vytautas Magnus University (Brill, 2016-11-28)
      The Yearbook of Muslims reports on the most current information available from surveyed countries, offering an annual overview of statistical and demographic data, topical issues of public debate, shifting transnational networks, changes to domestic and legal policies, and major activities in Muslim organisations and institutions
    • Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, Volume 7

      Scharbrodt, Oliver; Akgonul, Samim; Alibasic, Ahmet; Nielsen, Jorgen S.; Racius, Egdunas; University of Chester; Strasbourg University; Faculty of Islamic Studies and Center for Advanced Studies, Sarajevo; University of Copenhagen; Vytautas Magnus University (Brill, 2015-12-14)
      The Yearbook of Muslims in Europe is an essential resource for analysis of Europe's dynamic Muslim populations. Featuring up-to-date research from forty-six European countries, the reports provide cumulative knowledge of on-going trends and developments around Muslims in different European countries. In addition to offering a relevant framework for original research, the Yearbook of Muslims in Europe provides an invaluable source of reference for government and NGO officials, journalists, policy-makers, and related research institutions.
    • Youth emmaus 2: Big issues and holy spaces: A 14-session discipleship course for young people

      Gosling, Dot; Mayfield, Sue; Sledge, Tim; Washington, Tony; University of Chester (Gosling) (Church House Publishing, 2006-04-25)
      This book provides a fourteen-session interactive discipleship course for young people. It covers the issues from Jesus' sermon on the mount, and examines creative ways to workship together. It is suitable as a post-confirmation resource.
    • ʿAbbās Afandī ʿAbd al-Bahāʾ: Treatise on Civilisation

      Scharbrodt, Oliver; University of Chester (Brill, 2017-10-20)
      English translations of an excerpt from the Persian Treatise of Civilisation by Abd al-Baha Abbas Effendi.