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A critical analysis of the Pentecostal hermeneutics used by Elim local church leadership teams in relation to the topic of women in ministry.

Carter, Jamys Jeremy (2019) A critical analysis of the Pentecostal hermeneutics used by Elim local church leadership teams in relation to the topic of women in ministry. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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In this thesis, I address the question of how lay leaders of the Elim Pentecostal Church (Elim) practise their hermeneutics. Building upon prescriptive academic writings regarding Pentecostal hermeneutics, I use qualitative empirical research to explore how the role of Scripture, Spirit and Community are navigated by Elim Pentecostals. This enables me to provide a description of what people say about their hermeneutical approach, whilst examining their actual practice. In particular, I explore the hermeneutics of Elim lay leaders under tension, centring the discussion around the topic of women in ministry. Although women are officially allowed to minister in all levels of leadership within Elim, previous research has demonstrated that there are ongoing tensions at both local leadership level (Carter, 2016) and congregational level (Nunn, 2018). I chose this topic because it both provides a contentious topic in which hermeneutics can be examined, and it is an ongoing issue about which I am passionate. In response to the question, I argue that Elim Pentecostals highly value the Bible, utilise the community as a hermeneutical partner (especially in dealing with contentious topics) and bring a certain level of fluidity, claimed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, to their approach. Reflecting the verse “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17), I show how that freedom allows a relatively fluid response. Not only is the triad of Scripture, Spirit and Community used in non-static ways, but the fluidity allows for an incorporation of some interpretive differences, enhancing unity amongst the community of believers. Furthermore, the role of experience and relationships inform the hermeneutical process, as ways forward are found through the incorporation of a Pentecostal pragmatism, within the boundaries of the triad.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Pentecostal, hermeneutics, women in ministry, Christian, pragmatism, Holy spirit, Community, Scripture
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.797972
Depositing User: Rev Dr Jamys Carter
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2020 12:22
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2020 10:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25608

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