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Title: Episkope as a model for oversight and leadership in the Church of England examined in the dioceses of Yorkshire
Author: Grundy, Malcolm Leslie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 8919
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores the meaning and potential of episkope defined as the work of ‘seeing-over’ a church made up of distributed local communities. Using academic and confessional means it examines the origins of oversight in the God of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and in secular and Classical cultures. The concept of ‘watching over one-another in community’ emerges. How the Church of England exercises oversight is the principal applied area for the research. A methodology is constructed utilizing and developing theological and organizational resources. Recent agreements in ecumenical theology establish components of oversight which are personal, collegial and communal. Organizational analysis is used to form a structure for new interpretations of oversight. The Church of England is seen to have both the characteristics of an organization and of an institution. On occasions it has been called recalcitrant but more likely has the characteristics of an organism and of a culture. A new oversight concept emerges from biography, history and metaphor with characteristics for renewal which are seen to be organic, directional and authoritative. The dioceses of Yorkshire are used for an examination of the ways in which senior church leaders understand oversight. Evidence gained demonstrates a high quality of personal, ecumenical and community relationship set alongside a frustration with synodical systems and the complications of a hampering bureaucracy. The ways in which the Church of England oversees corporate change are assessed through a review of the structures of the Yorkshire dioceses and an examination of senior appointment processes. Inhibiting factors are identified which challenge confidence in ‘watching over one-another in community’ and contribute to a culture of institutional cynicism. A renewed theology and ecclesiology of oversight is constructed which has the potential to inform ministerial practice, support and evaluation. Changing interpretations of mission and the purpose of formation for ministries in the modern world are suggested as avenues for further research.
Supervisor: Kim, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available