A theological reflection on education, and an educational reflection on theology

Northing, J. (2017) A theological reflection on education, and an educational reflection on theology. Ed.D. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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This research explores the impact of the resurrection in St. John’s Gospel, through focusing on the theme of ‘hope’. Consideration is given as to how this might inspire a theological vision of ‘hope’ in an educational context, in particular that of Church of England primary schools.

The method for this research involves Biblical analysis of the resurrection appearances as recorded in the Gospel of St. John. The methodology uses Bevans’ (2012) praxis model of contextual theology combined with Kennard’s Thiselton-Ricouer hermeneutic (2013). The theoretical perspective is informed by Thiselton’s ‘two horizons’ (1980; 1992) and N.T. Wright’s ‘five act’ hermeneutic (1992; 2013). The epistemology involves both critical realism and ontological realism.

More recently the Church of England has published its Vision for Education (Church of England Education Office, 2016b). This initial articulation of a Christian vision, underpinned by both theological and educational thinking, is a useful starting place for further theological reflection. In articulating a theology of education based on ‘hope’ using the Bible as its inspiration, this research seeks to contribute a fresh perspective on the purpose and practice of Christian education.

Findings show that when the resurrection of Jesus Christ is viewed as a new beginning rather than a positive conclusion for Jesus and his followers then resurrection offers ‘hope’ of transformation. The very task of education can be seen similarly, as an act of ‘hope’, transforming lives and opening up new horizons. A theology of education inspired by ‘hope’ recognises the complexity of the human condition. It looks to the future in a way that encompasses the present and past, with God as companion offering purpose and expectancy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology > BV0590 Ecclesiastical theology > BV1460 Religious education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Education > School of Teacher Education and Development
Depositing User: Miss Rosemary Cox
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2018 10:32
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2018 10:32
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17392

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00