Rooms, Nigel James (2008)
Th.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The thesis begins in the author’s exposure to the inculturation issue as an adult theological educator in Africa and then in UK. The contemporary UK church faces a dilemma of ‘gospel’ and culture as sharp as in Africa. The research question is posed for the UK context as; is it possible to develop an educational course that will deliver inculturation, and if so what would be good practice within it? A cyclical ‘Kolbian’ methodology is chosen for the field research. It consists of three case studies of adult theological education courses which deal obliquely with the interaction of faith and culture in UK; a) the Alpha course in three different cultural contexts; b) A Lent Course linking a UK and African Diocese; c) the Education for Ministry course, in particular its imaginative methods of theological reflection. The case studies occur in series, rather than in parallel, as ‘research journey cycles.’ All the case studies make important conclusions leading to an affirmative response to the research question. Significant learning regarding good practice in pedagogy for inculturation is developed; imagination is presented as of primary importance. The thesis raises fundamental questions about hermeneutics which bridge inculturation and adult education. The individual nature of educational courses provides a limit to the conclusions.
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