Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Rehearsing resurrection by practicing what we proclaim
by Blocher, Kim Louise, D.Min., Lancaster Theological Seminary, 2009, 126; 3361039
Abstract (Summary)

This project explores the ways in which we teach, preach, and think about the resurrection within a church setting. The resurrection is the foundational doctrine of our faith, and yet many pastors struggle with imparting his or her belief. A pastor's beliefs surrounding the resurrection may be at odds with the primary belief systems of the people in the pews. Or perhaps a pastor does not know what he or she believes. A vacuum is formed that gets filled with popular theology from books promoting a dispensational worldview, television or movies. Sermons often promote the notion of heaven without confronting what we really mean when we say, "I believe in the resurrection of the body."

The study presents the point of view that our understanding of resurrection can be opened up through attending to the gap between belief and practice. In other words, what does it mean in our lives today when we say we are a people of the resurrection? Can we think of ourselves as rehearsing resurrection right now? Toward that end a curriculum was developed for an adult study on resurrection, based on the shared praxis model of Thomas Groome.

The curriculum was found to be a tiny, first step in a re-shaping of the way a congregation apprehends the resurrection. Other necessary pieces are pastoral study and reflection, developing a theology of practices within the congregation, the importance of the funeral sermon in teaching about resurrection, theological imagination, and a willingness of the pastor to be forthcoming about his or her own beliefs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stalfa, Frank J., Jr.
School: Lancaster Theological Seminary
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clerical studies, Theology, Religious education
Keywords: Afterlife, Beliefs, Groome, Thomas, Practices, Resurrection, Teaching
Publication Number: 3361039
ISBN: 978-1-109-19766-2
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