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Title: The role of the built environment in fulfilling the mission of the church : towards a missional theology of sacred space
Author: McAlpine, William R.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3622 4266
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2006
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This project, investigating the relation between sacred places and the mission of the Church, explores the issue through the lens of historical and theological frameworks, as well as pursing a dialectic path with representatives from religious studies and the social sciences. Much of the research has spanned textual resources across a spectrum of eras and traditions, but a substantial portion of the project was qualitative case study research, involving two churches representing two disparate traditions within Christianity.  The two congregations were chosen based on their well-articulated mission statements and their involvement in major relocation and building projects, providing excellent contexts to examine how their missions were embodied in and informed the design of their new physical facilities. The reflective transformative methodology was employed in this investigation, largely informed by the critical correlational practical theology approach developed by two key scholars, David Tracy and Don S. Browning. The link between mission and sacred place can facilitate either one-way or two-way movement.  The dictum that form must follow function is a one-way street demanding challenge.  A synergistic dynamic needs to exist between mission and sacred places and unless intentionally attended to, the dynamic can easily devolve into an adversarial, counter-productive reality, only avoided if sacred places are considered an enabling aspect of the Church’s mission, rather than merely the context in which it is acted out.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sacred space ; Church buildings