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The spirituality of the Desert Fathers: modern applications of an Eastern Christian practice

Summary of the impact

Hunt's research has had significant impact on the personal and professional development of practitioners and those interested in spirituality/meditation. She works with groups of lay Christians and others who meet to study and practice spirituality in the face of a predominantly secular world, where psychology has largely replaced spiritual insights. Hunt has a strong relationship with MONOS, a centre for the study of monastic culture and spirituality in Leicester, where, related to her research on the desert fathers, she acts as an educational advisor. Since the majority of scholars working in this area are male and ordained her status as a lay woman is distinctive. Whilst being respectful of the religious tradition she brings an objective and fresh approach to it.

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, Literary Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Religion and Religious Studies

Restoring 'Fresh Expressions' to the Parish as the Focus of Mission in the Church of England

Summary of the impact

Research on ecclesiology undertaken by Revd Dr Alison Milbank:

  • Has informed the theology, policy and practice of mission in the Church of England by challenging the theological basis of the dominant Fresh Expressions movement and offering a new model based on mediation;
  • Has engaged cathedral visitors and church members in new ways of experiencing religious objects via video and barcodes;
  • Has informed and influenced curricula and syllabi in Anglican ordination training on mission and ecclesiology.
  • Has exceeded its target audience of the Church of England, being discussed by other churches in the UK and worldwide.

Submitting Institution

University of Nottingham

Unit of Assessment

Theology and Religious Studies

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

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

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

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

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

New Testament Studies

Summary of the impact

Lincoln's research treats historical, literary, theological and hermeneutical issues in New Testament studies. Aiming to be accessible in its presentation, it has an impact throughout the English-speaking world on leaders in churches, teachers and sixth formers in schools and a broad audience interested in the interpretation of the Bible. In particular, it has contributed to bridging the gap between academic biblical studies and popular understanding in the church and society, as readers turn to his work on New Testament texts and issues to find ways to integrate the challenges of critical reading with an appreciation of the contemporary significance of the Bible for theological thinking and the religious imagination.

Submitting Institution

University of Gloucestershire

Unit of Assessment

Theology and Religious Studies

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies, Literary 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

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

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

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