A Green Hermeneutic for a Green Homiletic: Preaching Paul in time of ecological threat

Jamison, Trevor (2021) A Green Hermeneutic for a Green Homiletic: Preaching Paul in time of ecological threat. DPT thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 2021JamisonDPT.pdf] PDF
Download (1MB)


This planet is suffering from the impact of climate change, brought about by human activity. In response, the author of this thesis preached a series of four sermons in September 2018. All four featured Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, read using a green hermeneutic. Gospel readings were also chosen from the Revised Common Lectionary. Readers’ interests, rather than the intentions of the author, or exegesis based on the historical setting of the biblical text, was the primary driver of ecological interpretation in the sermons.

Using a preaching journal, maintained during this series, the thesis analyses the preparation process for writing the sermons. This takes account of the role of the preacher’s life story and contemporary contextual factors in decision making. The texts of the sermons preached are examined, using responses from a three-person reflection panel. This identifies ‘types’ of possible responses to ecological preaching: ‘wary listener’, ‘critical friend’, and ‘ready listener’.

Reflection upon this example of ecological preaching practice produces a number of findings. First, when read using a green hermeneutic, Paul can encourage helpful reaction and response to contemporary ecological threat. Second, preachers need to give suitable time to considering the wider ecological context before moving to consider the biblical texts. Third, giving due weight to readers’ interests implies that listeners may also reinterpret a preacher’s ecological interpretation. Fourth, the approach used for these sermons may be used for group discussion, particularly Contextual Bible Study.

Item Type: Thesis (DPT)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Supported by funding from from the United Reformed Church Education for Ministry Fund; from Saint Columba’s United Reformed Church, North Shields; from the Trinity College, Glasgow, Hamish Mackenzie Research Fund; and a bequest from the author's mother-in-law, the late Mrs Sheila Undy, which enabled to commence the Doctorate in Practical Theology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Adams, Professor Sean and Gay, Reverend Doug
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82691
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2022 11:38
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2022 09:31
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82691
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/82691

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year