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Durham e-Theses
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Stephen Neill: a traditional communicator in an age of revolution

Peter Mitchell, Jolyon (1993) Stephen Neill: a traditional communicator in an age of revolution. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Bishop Stephen Charles Neill's life and work is one of the best kept secrets in Twentieth Century Church History. His engimatic life story has been virtually ignored by Church Historians. This thesis attempts to fill that gap. Consideration of Neill's life and work provides a series of windows onto many of the key theological movements, personalities and debates which have dominated this century. This work is an attempt to construct an extensive historical narrative of Neill's life and work. It goes beyond, however, a mere retelling of his life, to the search for an interpretative key that will help explain this story of broken- ness and brilliance. First, the methodology employed to construct this explanatory account is outlined. Autobiographical, psychological, expressive and theological approaches to his life are individually explained. With these tools in our hands the following structure is then followed: Chapter 2) : His formative years at home and school are investigated. Chapter 3): His adventures and development as a student of Classics and Theology at Cambridge are recounted. Chapter 4 & 5) g His work as a missionary, teacher and bishop in Southern India, as well as the premature conclusion to his Indian ministry are discussed. Chapter 6) : The impact of this sudden departure is then evaluated, as are his ceaseless efforts as an ecumenist in the development of the World Council of Churches in Geneva. Chapter 2) : His methodology as a historian. New Testament scholar, and ecumenist whilst in Hamburg is uncovered through his most significant writings. Chapter 8): His labours in Kenya, both as a Professor in establishing the first Department of Religion at Nairobi university and as a bishop are described. Chapter 9): Neill's last years in Oxford and particularly his work as a historian and apologist are analysed. Chapter 10): The concluding discussion focuses on the four heuristic devices that have been employed to describe and explain Neill's life and work. The overriding aim of this thesis is to assess whether Neill's Christo-centric beliefs are the "silver thread" which runs through his life and work of expression.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1993
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:24 Oct 2012 15:15

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