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Durham e-Theses
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Christian doctrine in adult religious education: a critical study

Savage, Mark David John (1990) Christian doctrine in adult religious education: a critical study. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This study seeks to discover the proper style and place of Christian doctrine in adult religious education. The critical assessment of the work of three influential authors: Johannes Hofinger, John H Westerhoff III and James Michael Lee reveals that none is able to offer an adequate model for practice. Hofinger has a limited vision of both theology and education; Westerhoff too limited an understanding of education; and Lee far too narrow an understanding of theology. Consideration of the nature of Christian doctrine and its relationship to theology and the life of faith indicates that it is the product of a multi-disciplinary encounter between the gospel and the world. It is continually changing and being refined and is best understood and communicated by means of analogy. Music offers an analogy which sheds light on the Christian story. It also provides an analogy for the process of doing theology itself. It draws attention to the central importance of the encounter between the composer, the composition, the performer and the listener in that moment of performance which is a new act of creation for each participant. This shows that God is not revealed in the un-read word of scripture, but in the present, lived encounter with the word. That encounter may be simple and direct, but it also involves a myriad of factors which together comprise the story and context of the scripture itself and of the person who reads it. It is the responsibility of the religious educator of adults to try to understand both levels of encounter. The re-making of Christian doctrine for each adult learner is a life-long process which depends upon reflection upon past learning. Its outcome is properly open-ended, but it must be continually assessed to prevent it becoming dangerously unfocussed.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1990
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 12:08

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