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Title: The role of encounter within conversion in Pentecostal and charismatic churches and its implications for mission
Author: Halls, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 084X
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2020
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This research is an investigation into the role of encounter in conversion and its implications for mission by Pentecostal and charismatic (P+c) churches within the United Kingdom. Initially, contemporary conversion praxis is explored in literature associated with the ecumenical Fresh Expressions project. Within that broad setting, conversion is now understood more as a pathway than a crisis event, and experiential encounter with God has a generally low profile. Two articles respond to those issues. The first is addressed primarily to the P+c community and in the light of the contemporary missional discussion seeks to suggest directions for the enhancement of P+c theology and the reciprocal contribution that might be offered to Fresh Expressions praxis. The second considers a specific problem within conversion praxis, that of measuring conversion. A separate exploration of research methodologies considers how the encounter within contemporary conversion might be explored among recent adult converts with little or no prior experience of church, with due regard to particularity as well as exposing shared themes. A biographic- narrative method is proposed as being methodologically transparent, allowing practitioners to engage with the data's relevance and offering potential for replication. The empirical research task has been to gain insight into the frequency, range, salience and context of experiential encounter in the conversion of people attending Pentecostal and charismatic congregations, who have little previous experience of church. It is placed within a multidisciplinary context considering methodological issues from both psychosocial and theological perspectives prior to reporting at length on the narratives of 32 participants. In order to illuminate the particularity and broad themes arising from the data, they are considered from the academic perspectives of P+c pneumatologies and that of biblical studies. Subsequently, the approach of Third Article Theology is engaged to place both theological and experiential data within a missiological framework in order to push towards praxis. Specific attention is given to the possibility of considering developments of missional pneumatology within the P+c tradition in the light of the particularities of the contemporary experience of conversion. As part of considering implications for practice the limitations of the research are noted and several possibilities for further investigation suggested.
Supervisor: Pugh, Benjamin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: mission-shaped ; evangelism ; mission ; Fresh Expressions ; Alpha course ; Charismatic ; Pentecostal ; BNIM ; Missiology ; narrative ; Pneumatology ; Third Article Theology ; conversion ; religious experience ; testimony ; spiritual encounter ; biographic narrative