Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Gary M. Simpson
This dissertation explores a particular local Christian community's socially-embodied theology as their missional imagination in civil society from within a research question on how to access, cultivate, and assess such missional imagination. The research question is addressed through a phenomenological approach to such particular local Christian community's process of discernment.
In following the trajectory of this particular local Christian community's process of discernment, the research journey became embedded in the playful imagination of this local Christian community's engagement with their discernment question, and how their critical reflectiveness from within this playful imagination opened up the possibilities of God's preferred and promised future in, among, and through them. The entire process presented this dissertation with this particular local Christian community's socially-embodied theology as the theo-cultural contours of their missional imagination in civil society, described by this local Christian community as the threads of relationships-diversity-openness, mystery-Eucharist-spiritual practices, and continuity-discontinuity-abundance.
This dissertation integrates into the research journey from within this particular local Christian community's process of discernment a variety of conversation partners from theology, philosophy, cultural anthropology, and organizational theory. These conversation partners illuminate both the process of discernment and production of theology of this particular local Christian community. The integration of the local Christian community's process of discernment (and their production of theology in the process) with the voices of these conversation partners provides this dissertation with a hermeneutic of mimesis on how to access, a hermeneutic of Bildung on how to cultivate, and a hermeneutic ofpoiesis on how to assess this particular local Christian community's socially-embodied theology as their missional imagination in civil society.
These hermeneutics are accompanied by a missional theology that takes on the shape of a trinitarian theology rooted in the biblical imago Dei (with respect to the hermeneutic of mimesis as interpretation of accessing missional imagination), a pneumatology (with respect to the hermeneutic of Bildung as interpretation of cultivating missional imagination), and an eschatology (with respect to the hermeneutic of poiesis as interpretation of assessing missional imagination).
Swart, Johannes Gerhardus Jacobus, "A Local Christian Community's Missional Imagination: Accessing, Cultivating, and Assessing Missional Discernment in Civil Society" (2010). Doctor of Philosophy Theses. 7.