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From ‘mission-shaped’ to ‘Jesus-shaped’: Locating the place of hospitality in the Church of England

Cross, Susan Beverley (2022) From ‘mission-shaped’ to ‘Jesus-shaped’: Locating the place of hospitality in the Church of England. Doctoral thesis, York St John University.

[img] Text (Doctoral thesis)
CROSS SUSAN BEVERLEY FINAL THESIS (2022) From mission-shaped to Jesus-shaped_Locating the place of hospitality in the Church of England.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 2 November 2024.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


The aim of this thesis is to rehabilitate hospitality within Church of England discourse by positioning hospitality as more than ‘welcome’, or the evangelistic hospitality of the Alpha Course, or Messy Church. Such an endeavour is complicated by persistent racism within the Church, and calls for disestablishment, but this thesis seeks to demonstrate the relevance of hospitality, not only to mission, but also to ecclesiology, and social and ecological justice.

Chapters 1 and 2 discuss hospitality and eschatological hospitality in the Hebrew scriptures and New Testament from the respective perspectives of host and guest, to show the reversibility of guesting and hosting, and the koinōnia of the first believers (thus establishing hospitality as humble service and community). Chapter 3 considers inclusion, embodiment, and the body of Christ through the neurocognitive challenges of dementia, learning disability, and autism, to propose divine hospitality as the ultimate defence of personhood. Chapter 4 develops hospitality as an embodied sensory and social practice using previously identified components of hospitality: seeing, listening, storytelling, eating and feasting. Chapter 5 juxtaposes reports published by, and about, the Church of England to examine racism and problematic representations of hospitality, and suggest the potential for hospitable social action in church life. Chapter 6 questions existing use of hospitality in Alpha and Messy Church to claim that hospitality is not neutral. Before concluding with probable
effects of pandemic COVID-19 on ministry, Chapter 7 explores kenosis and humility, tragedy and hospitality, and food and hunger, and discusses perichoresis, and praxis in the parish, Fresh Expression, and online and offline church. Inadequate conceptualisation of hospitality and ongoing revision of institutional strategies have led to the paradoxical situation of hospitality being simultaneously instrumentalised and undervalued within the Church of England, but this thesis argues that hospitality can be extricated from Anglican insularity, and redeemed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Status: Published
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BT Doctrinal Theology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BX Christian Denominations > BX5011-5207 Church of England
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7065

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