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Durham e-Theses
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An Exploration into Christian Engagement
in Freedom of Religion or Belief

EDWARDS, JOEL,NIGEL,PATRICK (2019) An Exploration into Christian Engagement
in Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This study explores the challenges and opportunities facing Christian organisations engaged in the pursuit of Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB). The thesis suggests that FoRB is consistent with the mission of God and demanded by it.

Chapter one sets out the method and narrative for the research. Chapters two to four provide a case study of the research subject, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), an evangelical human rights charity engaged in FoRB. The challenges, opportunities, and ambiguities facing Christian organisations in this field are here explored. Chapter five considers Christian ideas behind Article 1 and Article 18 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Chapter six identifies historic examples of theological thought that flowed into Christian activism in the Declaration.

The thesis aims to provide a reflection which supports Christian praxis in this field: crucially, chapters seven and eight attempt to lay this foundation. The material considers selected texts which explore human dignity, and the universal character of God’s mission that responds to all human suffering. My final chapter offers some practical thoughts for Christians engaged in FoRB.

This qualitative ethnographic study explored the organisation’s understanding of the biblical drivers behind their praxis through a series of twenty-nine semi-structured interviews. Interviews were supplemented by primary material from the World Council of Churches (WCC), the United Nations and the Evangelical Alliance UK. My own study journal provided opportunities for reflexivity.

Ultimately, this study aims to make a contribution to an area of ministry with scope for more specific theological reflection.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Theology and Ministry
Keywords:Freedom of Religion or Belief, FoRB, image of God, dignity, mission of God, persecution human rights
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:24 Oct 2019 10:32

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