Journeying together towards goodness: participant understanding of practices and narratives in a University of the Nations Discipleship Training School

Peachey, John Stephen (2020) Journeying together towards goodness: participant understanding of practices and narratives in a University of the Nations Discipleship Training School. PhD thesis, Middlesex University / Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. [Thesis]

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Abstract

This study develops a new hybrid theoretical framework and uses it for an empirical moral inquiry. By investigating participants’ understandings of social practices and narratives in the University of the Nations (UofN) Discipleship Training School (DTS) using a multiple individual case study approach, this research infers how processes of moral development and identity formation may be working. Alasdair MacIntyre’s philosophical framework for the rationality of virtue formation in a particular tradition is deepened by inserting Vygotsky’s theories of genetic analysis and mediation in the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and Wertsch’s unit of analysis of mediated human action to research how students use cultural tools to negotiate the intermediate steps of becoming virtuous. Learning and identity formation are explored in an alternative model of higher education using Lave and Wenger’s social learning theory of Legitimate Peripheral Participation (LPP) in a Community of Practice (CoP). Resources in practical theology, such as works by Dykstra and Bass, ground this study in the Christian tradition. Particular attention is given to DTS participants’ pursuit of moral purpose, action in the world, and virtuous character as they learn to relate to those who are ‘other’. A composite summary of participants’ understanding of a good learning community may guide attempts to cultivate virtuous learning communities that nurture non-coercive rearrangements of desire and human freedom. Rising interest in the place of spirituality and religion in the post-secular academy, the global growth of educational institutions in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, and the under-researched expression of UofN education taking place in 112 countries in 55 languages indicate potential international impact. This study enables MacIntyre’s virtue ethics framework to be applied in empirical research using sociocultural and activity theories to investigate the processes of learning to become good persons together.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Oxford Centre for Mission Studies
Item ID: 30867
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2020 09:05
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 16:49
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/30867

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