The poetry of priesthood: a study of the contribution of poetry to the continuing ministerial education of clergy in the Church of England

Pryce, Robin Mark (2015). The poetry of priesthood: a study of the contribution of poetry to the continuing ministerial education of clergy in the Church of England. University of Birmingham. Other

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This thesis represents a qualitative empirical investigation into “What is the contribution of poetry in clergy continuing ministerial education (CME) in the Church of England?” offering a sustained theological reflection on my professional practice as Bishop’s Clergy CME Adviser.
Taking an ethnographic approach within a practical theological framework, I studied four facilitated clergy groups reading pre-selected poems and reflecting on personal experience of ministry in response. Research reflexivity was ensured through multiple methods, including auto-ethnographic poetry.
The research shows that the affective character of poetic form and language stimulates emotional response in the critical appreciation of practice, sustaining diverse interpretations simultaneously, benefiting collegial clergy reflective practice through corporate construction of meaning. The effectiveness of appropriate ground-rules for small groups is recognised. The impact of historical-critical approaches in clergy hermeneutical strategies for reading privileged texts is acknowledged.
I conclude that in facilitated group settings selected poetry offers clergy a generative space for reflection on ministry, suggesting poetry as a trans-disciplinary resource in reflective practice requiring refinement of pedagogy to take account of literary characteristics and participant hermeneutical approaches, developing a more critical approach to the use of poetry in clergy CME and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) more generally.

Type of Work: Thesis (Other)
Award Type: Other
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology > BV1460 Religious Education


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