'Seek the welfare of the city where I place you into exile': towards a transformative strategy for the church's engagement with urban development

Cartwright, Simon J. (2012) 'Seek the welfare of the city where I place you into exile': towards a transformative strategy for the church's engagement with urban development. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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As a former urban development manager and now a minister in the Church of England, I offer this thesis as a theological reflection on the church’s engagement in the urban development process. By bringing together an understanding of urban policy with a hermeneutical reflection, a missional rationale is offered to the church in the context of urban change.

The Pastoral Cycle model of learning is used based on five key stages:

First, through immersion in the experience of the church’s interaction with London’s Thames Gateway project, three core themes are identified: promoting human flourishing, mediating tension and representing hope.

Second, an understanding of these three core themes is explored in a social analysis of urban development policy and the Church of England’s engagement with urban development in the past.

Third, a Biblical hermeneutic is offered based on Jeremiah. 29v7 where God calls on his people ‘to seek the shalom of the city where I place you into exile.’ Links are made with the three core themes, as the community of God are called: to seek not only human flourishing but shalom; to mediate the tensions of a city that is not their own; and to represent God’s hope in the midst of change.

Fourth, the core themes are developed into a transformative strategy based on partnership with others to promote shalom, helping foster civil society by mediating tension and creating social justice, and representing God’s hope for their future. Three agents of transformation who deliver this strategy are then identified: the workplace chaplain, the church based community worker and the parish priest.

Finally, in a return to praxis, the transformative strategy is re-evaluated based on the learning experiences of these agents of change in Longbridge, Birmingham. This leads to a call for a collaborative approach to church engagement.

Lessons learned here will help the church engage better with the urban development agenda. As a result, the church’s agents of change are better able to work closer together to promote shalom, mediate tension and represent hope.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Worsley, H.
Ingram, D.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical theology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 12908
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2013 13:22
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 06:00
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12908

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