Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Toward a Model of Divine Empowerment: A Sociorhetorical Analysis of the Relationship Between the Ascension of Christ and Leadership Empowerment in Ephesians 4:1-16
by Bayes, Jimmy D., Ph.D., Regent University, 2013, 238; 3583445
Abstract (Summary)

This study examined how aesthetic leadership behaviors relate to or express leaders’ personal cohesion of inner self. The hypothesis asserted that (a) leaders who were exposed to prolonged/profound trauma and did not work through this trauma may retreat their identity into their leadership role, attempting to epitomize the ideals of their movement to escape from the pain; (b) once their identity is confined to the pursuit of embodying their movement’s values, these leaders may feel compelled to sacrifice everything including intimacy, rest, and health, for the prototypical ideals, and live in a constant state of hyper-arousal (fight or flight) and social constriction (Schick, 2011); (c) in this state, leaders may be capable of abnormally high performance outputs with expansive, lasting impact—but this performance may be indicative of brokenness and disintegration from oneself; and (d) leaders’ personal coherence will be observable in their aesthetic actions. For disintegrated traumatized leaders, the fracture was hypothesized to be aesthetically expressed in hyper-prototypicality as a leader, with simultaneously observable difficulty in maintaining healthy self. In a companion study, a hybrid hermeneutical personal narrative approach was utilized to analyze the parallel texts of Testament (Francis, 1226) and the Life of St. Francis (Thomas of Celano, 1246) to examine the inner cohesion of Saint Francis of Assisi, as well as the parallel texts of This is That (Semple McPherson, 1923) and Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America (Sutton, 2007) in the examination of Sister Aimee Semple McPherson’s cohesion of self. The study demonstrated that research of a leader’s inner person requires study of multidimensional aesthetic exchanges rather than aesthetic action alone. Role development in the family also shaped leaders’ understanding of calling and expectations. Additionally, aesthetically expressed disintegration of core identity appears to have triggered the embrace of ministry lifestyles that sustained hyper-arousal. Finally, four variables emerged as the primary causal factors in the disintegration of both leaders’ personhood: (a) intense/overbearing parental influence, (b) overwhelming desire to have widespread impact, (c) skewed understanding of God or personal application of the gospel, and (d) lack of capacity to process trauma—variables that leaders in numerous contexts may experience.

Indexing (document details)
School: Regent University
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-B 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Biblical studies, Behavioral psychology, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Aimee Semple McPherson, Divine empowerment, Leadership, Socio-rhetorical, Spiritual leadership, St. Francis of Assisi
Publication Number: 3583445
ISBN: 978-1-321-16942-3
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