Paul's understanding of spiritual formation: Christian formation and impartation

Chung, Michael (2009) Paul's understanding of spiritual formation: Christian formation and impartation. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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'Spiritual formation' is a popular term today, but definitions of its meaning vary. It is usually thought of from the perspective of the disciple rather than from the perspective of the mentor, who accompanies and guides the disciple in the formation process. This thesis seeks to contribute to a greater understanding of the spiritual formation process by a close examination of Paul's perspective as one forming the protégé.

Chapter 1 surveys writers who have written on topics related to spiritual formation, and then formulates research questions based on the surveys. Then, current definitions of spiritual formation are compared, identifying areas of agreement and disagreement and notes that there has been only limited study of this theme in Paul's writings.

Chapter 2 offers a definition of spiritual formation based on 1 Thessalonians, and explores its key features on the evidence of this letter. From 1 Thessalonians, it is stated that Paul would find the term 'spiritual formation' inadequate and suggests the term 'Christian formation' instead. Also, impartation is identified as an important element in this Christian formation process.

Chapter 3 surveys the other letters generally accepted as Pauline, arguing that, while Paul’s basic understanding of Christian formation remains consistent throughout his ministry, certain developments in his understanding can also be identified.

Chapter 4 analyses and compares methods of impartation from his contemporary world that may have influenced Paul.

Chapter 5 studies Paul’s method of impartation. The verb in 1 Thess. 2:8, metadidōmi, sheds light on the impartational activity practiced by Paul and his associates. Three dimensions of impartation can be discerned: the cognitive, affective, and relational dimensions. The issue of Paul and power based on the postmodern perspective is also discussed.

Chapter 6 draws conclusions from the study and reflects on possible implications for the practice of Christian formation today.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Travis, S.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 10971
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2010 11:32
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 21:10

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