Kinship in the borderlands of praxis: A theological performance auto/ethnography

Paterson, Michael Sean (2017) Kinship in the borderlands of praxis: A theological performance auto/ethnography. DPT thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.
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This thesis explores the lives of those whose experience as ordained ministers, psychological therapists or adult educators leaves them feeling marginal within their respective professions.

The Introduction recounts an epiphanic experience in the researcher’s praxis which made him question received professional wisdom. Chapter One traces the labyrinthine contours of qualitative research and expounds a model of contemplative inquiry derived from the account of the disciples at the Easter tomb (John 20) and introduces autoethnography and creative arts research as the key research methods. Chapter Two places border discourse in historical context and expounds Gloria Anzaldúa’s notion of ‘borderlands’ as the conceptual basis of the study. Five short autobiographical pieces form the basis of Chapter Three and serve to personally locate the author within the Borderlands. Chapter Four widens the exploration from ‘auto’ to ‘inter-ethnography’ and, in a series of eight ‘ink polaroids’, introduces those who participated in the study before presenting them in their own voice in a medium adapted from Carol Gilligan’s work on I-Poems. Chapter Five identifies the recurring themes of identity, spirituality, therapy, pedagogy and kinship and records what Borderland participants would like to say to their mainstream counterparts. The penultimate chapter playfully adopts Dwight Conquergood’s concept of the researcher as co-performative witness and presents data analysis in a musical composition for two pianos with narrative commentary. The final chapter outlines Anzaldúa’s neglected spiritual teaching and plots the coordinates of borderland grace. The study concludes that Borderlanders are not misfits but people who occupy a distinct vocational stance in the world.

As a piece of creative art, this genre-challenging work transgresses conventional borders between academic analysis and lived experience, scholarly knowledge and embodied wisdom, audience as passive observer and as active participant. As a contribution to professional praxis, it traces the journey of nine practitioners from silence to speech, discouragement to empowerment, isolation to kinship. In fostering greater integration and wellbeing among the practitioners involved, it contributes to improved levels of spiritual, therapeutic and educational care for those with whom they work.

Item Type: Thesis (DPT)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Autoethnography, performance ethnography, border theory, theology, contemplative inquiry.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Walton, Professor Heather
Date of Award: 2017
Embargo Date: 23 February 2020
Depositing User: Rev Dr Michael Sean Paterson
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-7967
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 May 2017 11:37
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2018 16:12

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