Towards a practical theology for effective responses to Black Young Men associated with crime for Black Majority Churches

Anderson Rev., Carver L. (2015). Towards a practical theology for effective responses to Black Young Men associated with crime for Black Majority Churches. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis uses a practical theological approach to explore concerns regarding black young men (BYM) labelled ‘problematic’, involved in crime and gang-associated activities. Their over-representation in the criminal justice system, also their deaths at each other’s hands, has been the subject of studies and debates in the USA and the UK. Responses and interventions to these concerns have been numerous and varied.

This work is rooted in the author’s role as a black Pentecostal pastor in Birmingham and offers a framework from which Black Majority Churches (BMCs) might be able to develop more effective responses to these concerns also exploring the interests and needs of BYM. It addresses the key question: how might the narratives of BYM influence BMCs in shaping more effective theological and pastoral responses to the situation of these men?
The research question is explored using a version of the Pastoral Cycle (PC), allowing for the use of interdisciplinary approaches to understand the situation of BYM in Birmingham. Through literature review and empirical investigation of fourteen BYM regarding how they understand their situation and what would help them, conclusions were drawn. The study then explores possible responses of BMCs, using New Testament Church of God (NTCG) as a case study for discussion. It is from these sources that some theoretical, theological and practical prescriptions and conclusions emerge, suggesting that BYM and BMC leaders are prepared to engage in some initial dialogue about the situations facing BYM in Birmingham.

This thesis provides new empirically based knowledge about BYM’s perceptions about themselves and their involvement in criminality, and also BMC’s response to their situation. It offers insights into practical theology, sociology and criminology regarding BYM within an urban context.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races


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