Exploring communal maturity: a theological and ethnographic study of a Christian congregation

Ladd, Nicholas Mark (2021). Exploring communal maturity: a theological and ethnographic study of a Christian congregation. University of Birmingham. Other

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This thesis describes and theorises processes of communal maturity from concrete experience in a Christian congregational setting.

The research question is grounded by explaining the gap in knowledge in personal and denominational practice and academic theory in critical conversation with Fowler and other psychological writers, all focused on individualising concepts of maturity and development.

The ethnographic research methods prioritise the theological ground of the enquiry – specifically the intention to hear the voices of the congregation, guided in particular by Hopewell.

An extensive narrative of their story begins the interpretation of the data, attending to the complex experience and narratives of the participants, before developing this as a theorising of communal maturation in terms of otherness, drawing particularly on the work of Irigaray.

The conclusions turn to implications for further research and development in practical theology and congregational pastoral and missional practice.

The thesis demonstrates the centrality of communal maturation in relationship with personal because of the importance of differentiated relationship with the ‘other’. It offers creative and critical application to individualised approaches to formation and mission practice in the Church of England, articulated in a practical theology rooted in Scripture.

Type of Work: Thesis (Other)
Award Type: Other
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Keswick Hall Trust, St Luke's Foundation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/11580


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