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Title: You are the Messiah and I should know - I've followed a few! leadership and followers in the New Testament, Christian theology and Hollywood popular film
Author: Lewis-Anthony , Justin
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2012
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"Leadership" is treated as a constant, given, virtue in our society. We expect leadership to be exercised in every sphere of human society, including the Ministry of Defence, secondary schools, the United Nations, and even the Church of England. But there appears to be no clear, concise and universally accepted definition of the term. Are we reduced to treating leadership like "obscenity" in Justice Stewart's famous definition: "we know it when we see it"? When the secular literature of leadership is examined, the only unanimity displayed is in disagreement about the sources, character and expression of leadership. This has not prevented the Church from attempting to promote "managerial-leadership" as a necessary skill for its minsters: in doing so, the Church has created something that might be called "missional-Ieadership". Neither idea represents the real source of leadership in our society, "mythological-leadership" . I examine the continuing power of myth in our culture, along with the way in which myth is transmitted by popular cinema in three categories: cinemas of "affirmation", "repudiation", and "reassertion". None disputes the basic model of the mythological leader: the man (and he is invariably a male) from outside, who comes into a community in a time of peril, defeats the evil and transforms the community by the (reluctant) exercise of violence, finally refusing any status the community wishes to confer upon him, and leaves, mortally wounded. Finally, I ask: is "leadership" no more than a useful sociological tool in the professionalization of the Church's ministry and mission? Is it, on the other hand, fatally compromised by its origins in violence and the will to power? Here the importance of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is once more presented, as a man who recognized the temptations of leadership and yet was able to assert, and model, a faithful Christian discipleship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available