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Title: An analysis of the small group processes that hinder or facilitate transformative biblical engagement
Author: Creedon, Anna Clare
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 4907
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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The central claim of this thesis is that engaging with the Bible in a small group context has the potential to be transformative, noting that a number of factors can hinder or facilitate the extent of that transformation. The thesis begins by exploring the concept of transformation. Following an engagement with various biblical texts, it then defines transformation as an ongoing process of change whereby individuals and communities come to more fully resemble Jesus Christ and glorify God by the power of the Holy Spirit, in anticipation of the future transformation of the whole of creation. The process of transformation is also considered through the work of Jack Mezirow, Walter Brueggemann, James Loder, Daniel Schipani and Laurie Green. In order to identify what factors might hinder or facilitate transformative biblical engagement, research is detailed among three small groups associated with Church of England churches, which involved ethnographic observation, questionnaires and small groups. The data evidences that it was possible to identify a number of key themes connected with how small groups operate, namely: experts, challenge and use of materials. These are examined in order to show how they all have the potential to both hinder and facilitate transformative biblical engagement. It was also possible to explore how ordinary readers understand the concept and process of transformation, and how this correlates with academic understandings of the concept. Two practical theological implications were raised as a result of this research: first, the necessity of thinking through the purpose of small groups, and second, the significance of the leadership of small groups. In conversation with Laurie Green's model of the People's Theologian, an approach is offered to small group leadership that might better enable expertise, challenge and materials to be used in ways that may best facilitate transformative biblical engagement.
Supervisor: Worsley, Howard ; Rogers, Andrew Sponsor: Church of England ; St Luke's College Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available