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The Church Militant: a study of “Spiritual Warfare” in the Anglican Charismatic Renewal

Smith, Graham Russell (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis uses a practical-theological methodology to explore the theology and spirituality of „spiritual warfare‟ that developed in the charismatic renewal from the 1960s. Beginning with a study of twelve charismatic Anglican pioneers, a detailed case study then explores spiritual warfare praxis in a charismatic Anglican congregation. The ensuing theological reflection focuses on the ontology of evil, through dialogue with Nigel Wright, Amos Yong, and Gregory Boyd, as well as Karl Barth and Walter Wink.

The thesis argues for a positive ontology for evil powers, based on a charismatic hermeneutic of biblical texts; on the grounds that Jesus treated Satan and demons as real spiritual entities, the Pauline epistles refer to real evil spiritual powers in the heavenly realms, and charismatic experience supports this ontology. Such powers are in malevolent and wilful rebellion against God, deriving from a corrupted fallen angelic nature.

A Trinitarian model of theological praxis is presented, focused on responding to the goodness of God in repentance; renewing faith in the believer‟s identity in Christ and His victory upon the cross; and resisting the devil in the power of the Spirit. This model emphasizes personal responsibility, helps bring freedom from fear, and re-connects with Anglican baptismal liturgy.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Anderson, Allan and Cartledge, Mark J. (1962-)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Subjects:BR Christianity
BS The Bible
BT Doctrinal Theology
BV Practical Theology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:2999
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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