How do social groups come to agreement about how their life together is organized? In particular, how might such a group come to agreement on how to change its social practices, especially in order to achieve the goal of becoming more just, or more sustainable? This dissertation seeks to develop a "civic discourse theory" designed to assist social groups in just such an activity.
Using insights from the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, religion, political theory, and public policy, this theory provides both a rationale and a method for engaging in the collective development of new or renewed social arrangements. In particular, the dissertation examines the role of imagination in both imagining possibilities for social change, and in creating the power to implement it through the application of a "social imagination model" that draws on the rich imaginative resources available to social groups from four "worlds" in which they live simultaneously: the Society, Culture, Communal, and Mythic Worlds. The Social Imagination Model is then applied in two ways: analytically, to see how the model can uncover the social imagination at work in Luke 13:10-17, an ancient text from Christianity, and proactively, as a hypothetical contemporary neighborhood group explores options for re-imagining their economic and social relationships, using the insights and observations from the analysis of the biblical text as one of the resources for developing alternative proposals for how they could organize their life together.
|Advisor:||Duff, Paul B.|
|Commitee:||Cordes, Joseph, Creppell, Ingrid, Hiltebeitel, Alfred J., Kayes, D. Christopher|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biblical studies, Womens studies|
|Keywords:||Bent-over woman, Civic discourse, Community development, Gospel of Luke, New Testament, Public policy, Social imagination|
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