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The psychology of prayer

Summary of the impact

Research into the psychology of prayer aids the Church of England in one of its key areas of mission, to engage with and to promote the spiritual health of the nation. This research promotes the engagement of those who do not necessarily attend church to engage with their spiritual development. The research conducted into the analysis of prayer cards left in churches and cathedrals has influenced: the development of a Church of England prayer website; the reconceptualization and reorganisation of the Bangor Cathedral prayer request area; and integration of prayer card analyses in larger research projects initiated by Church of England dioceses exploring church growth.

Submitting Institution

Glynd┼Ár University

Unit of Assessment

Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Education: Curriculum and Pedagogy
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Religion and Religious Studies

2) Transforming Patterns of Ministry and Church Leadership

Summary of the impact

At a time of decline in church attendance in the UK, the models and patterns of leadership that churches have traditionally utilized have been questioned and rethought. In this context, aspects of the research carried out in Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen have focused on the leadership of the church, as a key user group of research in Divinity. This research has led to changes in models and patterns of leadership within the churches. To illustrate this, this case study examines two related examples of the impact of research carried out in the UoA in different sub-disciplines. Drane's (1998-2004) work in Practical Theology has impacted the church leadership's approach to spirituality and Fresh Expressions of Church through Mission Shaped Ministry and through his work with the Church of Scotland. Clarke's historical and theological research into New Testament texts and first-century contexts have been brought to bear on contemporary contexts of church leadership, within both Scottish Baptist and Church of Scotland settings. Claimed impact is, therefore, on the patterns and practice of ministry in these churches as a result of the research of Drane and Clarke.

Submitting Institution

University of Aberdeen

Unit of Assessment

Theology and Religious Studies

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Religion and Religious Studies

Promoting Understanding of Syriac Christianity

Summary of the impact

Sebastian Brock's research on Syriac language, literature, and religion has changed public understanding of the history of Christianity and directly influenced the practices and beliefs of several Christian communities, helping to overturn centuries of theological opinion and persuading the leadership of western churches that Syriac Christianity is not a heretical offshoot but a central part of its history and development. The impact of his research is significant not just for followers of the Syriac traditions, for whom he has authored many resources for instruction and liturgy, but also for other denominations, including the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches and Roman Catholicism. His research opened the way to stronger relations among these communities, leading to official doctrinal agreements between the Roman Catholic church and the Syriac language-using churches. His publications have cemented his reputation as the voice of scholarly authority within the Syriac church.

Submitting Institution

University of Oxford

Unit of Assessment

Area Studies

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Religion and Religious Studies

Shaping the Ideology of Red Tory and Blue Labour

Summary of the impact

Professor John Milbank's research at the University of Nottingham has:

  • Influenced policy formation, as a crucial inspiration for the new `postliberal' politics of Blue Labour and Red Toryism in the United Kingdom;
  • Influenced the theological discourse of Anglican and Catholic churches here and abroad;
  • Contributed to changes in theological education through becoming an object of study in theological curricula as well as an object of debate among other disciplines such as political and social theory.

Submitting Institution

University of Nottingham

Unit of Assessment

Theology and Religious Studies

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Studies In Human Society: Political Science
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Philosophy, Religion and Religious Studies

Christian Pneumatology in Global Perspective: Mission as Joining in with the Spirit

Summary of the impact

Kim's research has had significant impact on global discourse on theology of mission across the world's churches mainly through the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Edinburgh 2010 project. In particular her research helped to establish the pneumatological framework for mission theology evident in the Common Call of Edinburgh 2010 (6 June 2010) and the new World Council of Churches' statement on mission and evangelism, Together Towards Life (5 September 2012), which may be summarised as `finding out where the Holy Spirit is at work and joining in'.

Submitting Institution

Leeds Trinity University

Unit of Assessment

Theology and Religious Studies

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Religion and Religious Studies

Orthodoxy in Dialogue with Western Culture: the Orthodox Network in Winchester

Summary of the impact

This case study describes the impact of Orthodox theological research at Winchester on Orthodox Christian life in the UK at several levels. The development of the Winchester Orthodox Network — a study and research network bringing academics together with members of Orthodox Christian communities — has had diverse impacts on the engagement of Orthodox life with British contexts, including: (a) a major contribution to the Orthodox Fellowship of St John the Baptist, enabling theological research to inform the practice of clergy and their communities; (b) expert advisory work; (c) continuing education for serving clergy; (d) the use of research expertise in informing the catechesis, liturgical and spiritual life of Orthodox parishes in Hampshire.

Submitting Institution

University of Winchester

Unit of Assessment

Theology and Religious Studies

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Religion and Religious Studies

The Church of England in History 1540-1939

Summary of the impact

Arthur Burns' research on the history of the Anglican Church in England and Wales has had an impact on the Church, on its congregations, and on a wider public interested in genealogy and local history. The Building on History Knowledge Transfer Fellowship ensured a particular impact in London, as well as generating wider interest; the Clergy of the Church of England Database is consulted worldwide; his ongoing work on Thaxted already informs an important TV film.

Submitting Institution

King's College London

Unit of Assessment

History

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies, Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

Pickstock

Summary of the impact

Catherine Pickstock's metaphysical approach to liturgical texts and her associated critique of middle to late twentieth century Roman Catholic and Anglican liturgical revision, have influenced recent liturgical revisions in several Christian denominations and several languages. Her work has impacted upon civil society, specifically the mediation of cultural capital as found in (1) liturgical practice; (2) the training of seminarians worldwide (with Granada and Cambridge as examples); (3) the way in which new priests are taught to celebrate the liturgy; (4) the way liturgy is thought about by practitioners, laity and non-religious people; and (5) public discourse. This impact is attested by citations in published liturgical revision commentaries, bibliographies from training institutions, testimonies, blogs and other discussion forums, as well as by the range of international public lectures, interviews and other kinds of extra-academic engagement she has been invited to give.

Submitting Institution

University of Cambridge

Unit of Assessment

Theology and Religious Studies

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies, Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

Advancing global church debate on sexuality: Intercultural understanding and new methods for dialogue

Summary of the impact

From 2008, University of Leeds research on Christianity and sexuality has changed both the form and the content of church discussions of sexuality, mainly but not only within the global Anglican Communion. The relevant Leeds-based research is Ward's work on sexuality and global Anglicanism (2002-); an international study of Anglican/Episcopal churches (2008-2010); and Muers' work on theology, sexuality and gender (2007-). Specifically, Leeds research shaped the design and evaluation of the Anglican Communion's "Continuing Indaba" (2008-) process. Leeds research has also informed the content of that debate, and in promoting understanding of under- recognised perspectives in wider debates on sexuality.

Submitting Institution

University of Leeds

Unit of Assessment

Theology and Religious Studies

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies, Literary Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Religion and Religious Studies

Canon Law and Covenant: Transformation in Global Anglicanism

Summary of the impact

Before 2008-9 the worldwide Anglican Communion had no global legal framework for its 44 autonomous churches with their 80 million members. Historically, the Communion has been maintained by mutual "bonds of affection" held by members one for another on the basis of shared beliefs. This is changing. The Principles of Canon Law Common to the Churches of the Anglican Communion were launched at the Lambeth Conference in 2008, while the Anglican Communion Covenant (2009) is currently before each church for ratification. Research by Professor Norman Doe at Cardiff Law School first identified the need for these initiatives and informed his drafting and advocacy of both documents, each providing a framework of `house rules' for the Communion.

Submitting Institution

Cardiff University

Unit of Assessment

Law

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Law and Legal Studies: Law
Philosophy and Religious Studies: History and Philosophy of Specific Fields, Religion and Religious Studies

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