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Title: A critical dialogue between the missiology of Lesslie Newbigin and the emerging understanding of mission with the Presbyterian Church in Ireland
Author: McDowell, Peter George
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 2380
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis creates a dialogue between the emerging view of mission within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI), and the missiology of Lesslie Newbigin. In this dialogue, Newbigin is cast in the role of a mentor, that is, one who has considerable knowledge and experience and is available to advise and guide one who is following a similar and related, but different, path. The missiological discourse within PCI between 1990 and 2009 has been researched using reports and documents prepared by PCI's Boards and Committees, supplemented by interviews with three key informants. This has shown that PCI's missiological discourse has been driven by the changing social context, which can be described as one of an emerging post-Christendom culture, and the resulting need to develop an appropriate understanding and practice of mission. Lesslie Newbigin is an appropriate mentor for PCI, not just because his missiology engages with the issues facing PCI, but also because Newbigin was primarily a practitioner. Several themes from Newbigin are enlisted in the dialogue with PCI's missiology: his analysis of the missionary encounter between the gospel, the church of the missionary and the recipient culture; his theological understanding of the end of Christendom; and, the appropriate forms of the church in mission. Each of these themes provides a basis for evaluation of PCl's engagement with post-Christendom and its developing understanding and practice of mission. Finally, Kung's description of paradigm change in theology is utilised to show that, although its missiology has been in development, PCI is still in the phase of 'transitional uncertainty'. That is, the old understandings and forms are recognised to be inadequate in the new context, but a new, settled paradigm has not yet been achieved. Some practical suggestions for PCI as it negotiates this phase of transitional uncertainty are given.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available