Ageing well: using action research in a parish church setting

Babington, Peter Gervase (2017). Ageing well: using action research in a parish church setting. University of Birmingham. Other

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This dissertation reports a research project conducted as part of the Doctor of Practical Theology professional doctorate programme at the University of Birmingham. The research explored how the perceived needs of older people in an Anglican Parish Church might be more adequately understood and addressed through an Action Research strategy. Initial investigation by means of focus groups led to the design and implementation of a short course for people over 55 through which they could share their practical wisdom about how to age well. The course is described and reflected on in detail as the key action within this Participative Action Research process. The research adopted a strengths-based philosophy and was influenced by the approach of Asset Based Community Development. Emergent theory from reflection on practice include non-essentialist, general and specific experiences of ageing which are related back to pastoral ministry. The findings suggest some ordinary ways in which older people can be enabled to adopt a positive attitude, overcome obstacles and challenge a deficit model of ageing. Theological reflections explore issues of normalizing ageing, the ethic of abundance, fullness of life, and a Christian theological anthropology which holds ageing to be a Creation good.

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
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races


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