Sewanee: School of Theology Theses 2024

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 7
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    Up with the Church: An Episcopal Day School Advent Semester Religious Life Curriculum
    (University of the South, 2024-05) Schutz, Regan
    The purpose of this Doctor of Ministry project is to develop a comprehensive semester long Religious Life curriculum for an elementary Episcopal parish day school for elementary aged students. The 15-week curriculum includes weekly Eucharist, a half-hour weekly Spiritual Nature class, a weekly Community Chapel as well as a Day School Sunday service, and Episcopal Schools Celebration assembly, and a Christmas Chapel service. Furthering the mission of The Episcopal Church, the overall aim for this curriculum is to design a distinctly Episcopal approach to school spiritual formation for elementary age students of all faith traditions and none. The curriculum adheres to the National Association of Episcopal Schools Principal Qualities and best practices for intentional pluralism by engaging the hospitality accessible through the constancy of Episcopal doctrine, language, and theology. Uplifting the Episcopal tradition provides students a substantive faith tradition to then push and pull against throughout their lifetime. Conversely, by increasing The Episcopal Church’s relevancy outside the Church, Episcopal schools further the Episcopal mission “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ” (BCP 855). In the end, Episcopal schools and Episcopal churches thrive together.
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    "A strange, strange book: The Strange Beauty of the Song of Songs"
    (University of the South, 2024-05) Riley, Kelton
    The Song of Songs is one of the most curious books in the Biblical canon. This thesis explores the history of exegesis of Song of Songs. Chapter One begins with an overview of modern biblical scholarship’s attempts to define and situate the elusive book within its historical context. Chapters Two through Four survey the long history of interpretation of the Song, especially the long-standing use of allegory that has dominated the Song’s interpretation for centuries. Modern exegesis also factors into Chapter Four, including the Song’s inspiration for particular theologies such as feminist, queer, and ecological readings. Chapter Five ventures a translation by the author and a new reading that looks at the Songs as an intra-Trinitarian love song that takes place within Godhead itself. This thesis defends the idea that the Song of Songs is a strange, strange book, and as such it is uniquely suited to offer insights into a strange, strange God.
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    Participation in Mystery: Restoration of an Ancient Concept for the Renewal of Christian Life and Liturgy
    (University of the South, 2024-05) Lewis, Jason
    This project examines the understanding of the liturgy and sacraments as active participation in the paschal mystery. Following the development of the pastoral theology of Odo Case, its immediate influence on papal encyclicals, Vatican II, the Liturgical Movement, and the formation of the BCP 1979, the liturgy is identified as the fundamental ecclesial practice (in bodily, performative action) for knowing and experiencing the living Christ. The sacraments are the personal, saving work of Christ, manifested in the visible, communal,, and official ritual actions of the church. In the liturgy, the assembly becomes one with Christ, embodying the divine purpose of redemption, and participates in the saving agency of Christ, forming its identity and shaping its mission and praxis. They study, by examining the liturgies of Holy Week and the Great Vigil of Easter, explores the liturgy as the primary action to know the living Christ as it transforms the church into the body of Christ and the sacramental presence of Christ in the world. This thesis calls for a renewed understanding of the liturgy as active participation in the paschal mystery and its transformative impact on the church’s identity, vocation, and mission. It also suggests that this understanding has implications for contemporary Christian life and the potential renewal of the church. Finally, the project offers a practical application of this theology in proving mystagogical lectures for use during the fifty days of Easter.
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    The Heart of the Matter is the Matter of the Heart: Reconsidering Trible's Texts of Terror and Jephthah's Daughter with an Affective Reading
    (University of the South, 2024-05) Higginbotham, Casey Cole
    This thesis explores the way that the Holy Scriptures, specifically the "texts of terror" identified by Phyllis Trible, can speak to and from our affections. By considering the human experience of pathos when reading, this hermeneutical endeavor seeks to demonstrate how our affective selves interpret the Holy Scriptures, ourselves, and the world around us. Instead of merely asking what a biblical narrative teaches us to believe (orthodoxy) or teaches us to do (orthopraxy), this method, dubbed "orthopathy," seeks to ask, "how does/should it make us feel?" and to understand our affective reaction in light of the Christian faith. This thesis proceeds by examining the reception history of Judges 11, the story of the daughter of Jephthah, and further demonstrates the difference gained by the feminist and womanist perspectives. Next, affective reading methods are examined alongside Martha Nussbaum's philosophy of the intelligence of emotions and Sarah Coakley's theology of the rationality of affections. Finally, an orthopathic reading of Judges 11 is offered, taking into account affections in the text, of the text, and from the text. This thesis concludes that when read orthopathically, terrifying texts can become venues of truth-telling, solidarity, compassion, and justice.
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    An Exploration of the Influence of Prophetic Leadership and Preaching in the Bahamas: A Postcolonial Perspective
    (University of the South, 2024-05-04) Ferguson, Ethan
    The purpose of this thesis is to explore the spiritual revolution which materialized in prophetic leadership and preaching developing the consciousness necessary for Bahamian independence to be achieved. This work surveys the historical realities of the Bahamas, highlighting its oppressive and unjust structures and the need for change. The review of literature discusses the theological and hermeneutical framework through which change agents and prophetic exemplars functioned, knowingly and unknowingly. It marries the theoretical understanding of prophetic discourse with its practical and contextual function. With the use of exemplars, prophetic leadership and rhetoric is posited as transformative within the postcolonial context of the Bahamas, especially in the era leading up to its independence from the British empire. As the church functions prophetically through her involvement, activism and counsel, its theology of liberation permeates the political enterprise and empowers the movement towards freedom and justice. In conclusion, there is an offering of sermons that reflection the importance of prophetic rhetoric and discourse contextualized within our postmodern society. As there is no substitute for good preaching, there is no substitute for a prophetic and postcolonial hermeneutic in our world today.