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When the Bible meets the Black Stuff: A Contextual Bible Study Experiment

Webster, Tiffany (2017) When the Bible meets the Black Stuff: A Contextual Bible Study Experiment. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The original contribution to knowledge that this Biblical Studies research project offers is the experimental analysis of the claim that the Bible reading methodology Contextual Bible Study (CBS) should be grounded in ethnography, not only in practice, but also in writing. This project not only critically evaluates this argument, but it also demonstrates the efficacy of its claims by putting the argument presented into practice. This was done by implementing the suggested methodological refinements of CBS via the design and facilitation of a CBS programme that was grounded in ethnography. This took the form of ethnographically researching coalmining culture in South Derbyshire and conducting a CBS programme with a group of contemporary South Derbyshire coal miners. The findings of this project are significant for the discipline of Biblical Studies as thus far CBS has been used in a manner that fails to recognise the need for ethnographic contextualisation – a need which is twofold. First, it has yet to be widely acknowledged that the processes, methods, and goals of CBS are products of the context that gave birth to it (South Africa) and that in order for CBS to be used appropriately and effectively, it should be contextualised in light of its origins. Secondly, ethnographic contextualisation is also needed to ensure the following: that the researcher using CBS understands as fully as possible the context in which they intend to use CBS; that the CBS programme being developed resonates deeply with those participating in it; and that the final audience of any readings produced via CBS are equally knowledgeable about the context of those participating in the process. This thesis therefore examines critically both ethnography and CBS, and through the employment of reflexivity, incorporates ethnography into CBS not only as its formal prerequisite stage, but in a manner whereby its results are then used to shape and inform the entirety of the CBS research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Biblical Studies (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.706056
Depositing User: Dr Tiffany Webster
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2017 14:56
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:36
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16501

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