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Title: Exploring the lived theology of small missional communities : uncovering charismatic practices and beliefs to enable sustained engagement in social action
Author: Butler, James Edward David
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 1734
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores the lived theology of Small Missional Communities focusing on how they have developed practices and beliefs to help sustain their engagement in social action. These small groups of Christians are seeking to be both a worshipping Christian community and engage in social action in their local area and have been strongly influenced by the Emerging Missional Church, charismatic evangelicalism and what I have called the Evangelical Turn to Social Action. Using a practical theology approach through a qualitative study of four Small Missional Communities this research reveals the way that these communities have developed practices to discern and experience God in the world to enable a more sustained engagement in social action retaining the Charismatic Evangelical emphasis on experience and encounter with God. The key shift made by these Small Missional Communities is theological; a change in understanding of where and how God acts. Through developing new practices and understandings the communities have moved from an intensive focus on God acting in the gathered worship service to an extensive focus on God acting in the world. These practices and understandings are described as ‘moving the location of belonging’, a change in the understanding of the relationship between God’s action and human action, and developing practices of seeing and experiencing God in the world. The thesis then explores the insights and challenges both for Small Missional Communities and for the traditions which have influenced SMCs concluding that greater attention needs to be paid to the Charismatic Evangelical background of such groups, whose practices continue to shape the communities, and how practices are already developing which help to tackle some of the challenges facing Small Missional Communities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available