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Title: Establishing rhythm as a theological category : experience, metaphysics, salvation
Author: Eikelboom, Alexandria
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 1730
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Rhythm is an important dimension of Christian liturgical practice as well as life in the world more generally. Given its significance, this study asks how theology ought to think about the nature and role of rhythm. It puts forward the argument that rhythm is a category of significance for Christian doctrine, particularly the doctrine of salvation, rather than one that pertains only to Christian religious expression (in liturgy for example) or aesthetics. This argument is made on the basis of three factors: (1) the pervasiveness of rhythm in dimensions of human experience that are salient to Christian soteriology, such as relationship and communication, make rhythm a dimension of experience worth theological consideration, (2) the fact that different conceptions of rhythm in various metaphysical accounts have different theological consequences requires theological discussion regarding the nature of rhythm, and (3) the capacity of rhythm to illuminate certain dimensions of the Christian doctrine of salvation such as the nature of participation, the relation between immanent and transcendent, and the relationship between interruption and continuity in Christian soteriology, make it a category that adds to theological understanding. The thesis proposes a definition of rhythm as an oscillation between synchronic form and diachronic experience based in theories of poetic rhythm and supported by theological analysis. The project finds that particular philosophical or theological approaches to metaphysics incorporate either a synchronic or diachronic perspective on rhythm but that both of these perspectives are theologically problematic on their own, the former tending to an illusory perspective on the whole from a God's-eye-view and the latter tending towards a strict division between creature and creator such that the relationship between them is one of rupture and confrontation only and not salvific. The thesis therefore proposes an oscillation on the part of the theologian between these two perspectives after the metaphysics of Erich Przywara and demonstrates this approach to be appropriate to the Christian doctrine of salvation.
Supervisor: Ward, Graham Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Rhythm ; Liturgics and Christian union ; Theology ; Doctrinal ; Salvation--Christianity