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dc.contributor.advisorO'Hear, Natasha
dc.contributor.authorDyer, Rebekah Mary
dc.coverage.spatialv, 261, [19] p.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis thesis contends that the image of fire is a multivalent and theologically valuable image for application in British Christian communities. My research offers an original contribution by contextualising the image of fire for Christian practice in Britain, and combining critical observation of several contemporary fire rites with theological analysis. In addition, I conduct original case studies of three Scottish fire rituals: the Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony, the Beltane Fire Festival, and Up-Helly-Aa in Lerwick, Shetland. The potential contribution of fire imagery to Christian practice has been overlooked by modern theological scholarship, social anthropologists, and Christian practitioners. Since the multivalence of the image has not been fully recognised, fire imagery has often been reduced to a binary of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ associations. Through my study of non-faith fire rituals and existing Christian fire practices, I explore the interplay between multivalence, multiplicity, and liminality in fire imagery. I demonstrate that deeper theological engagement with the image of fire can enhance participation, transformation, and reflection in transitional ritual experience. I argue that engaging with the multivalence of the image of fire could allow faith communities to move beyond dominant interpretive frameworks and apply the image within their own specific context. First, I orientate the discussion by examining the multivalence of biblical fire imagery and establishing the character of fire within the British social imagination. Second, I use critical observation of community fire practices in non-faith contexts to build a new contextual framework for the analysis of fire imagery. Finally, I apply my findings to a contextual analysis of existing Christian fire practices in Britain. Throughout, I argue that sensory and imaginative interaction with the image of fire provides a way to communicate and interact with theological ideas; experience personal and communal change; and mediate experience of the sacred.en_US
dc.publisherUniversity of St Andrews
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International*
dc.subjectImage of fireen_US
dc.subjectRites of passageen_US
dc.subjectBeltane Fire Festivalen_US
dc.subjectBeltane Fire Societyen_US
dc.subjectStonehaven Fireball Ceremonyen_US
dc.subjectScottish cultureen_US
dc.subjectBiblical fire imageryen_US
dc.subjectEleventh Night bonfiresen_US
dc.subjectLondon 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Gamesen_US
dc.subjectTemple by David Besten_US
dc.subjectOlympic Flameen_US
dc.subjectParalympic Flameen_US
dc.subjectCycle of seasonsen_US
dc.subjectEaster fireen_US
dc.subjectNeed fireen_US
dc.subjectNeid fireen_US
dc.subjectTheological imaginationen_US
dc.subjectSocial imaginationen_US
dc.subjectContemporary western cultureen_US
dc.subjectBritish cultureen_US
dc.subjectChristian practiceen_US
dc.subjectPractical theologyen_US
dc.subjectChurch liturgyen_US
dc.subjectForest Churchen_US
dc.subjectBurning bushen_US
dc.subjectFire theophanyen_US
dc.subjectSense and affecten_US
dc.subjectEmbodied spiritualityen_US
dc.subjectCommunity identityen_US
dc.subjectRitual experienceen_US
dc.subjectCommunity transitionen_US
dc.subjectIdentity formationen_US
dc.subjectPersonal transitionen_US
dc.subjectFire and genderen_US
dc.subjectFirelight processionen_US
dc.subjectTorchlit processionen_US
dc.subjectFire performance arten_US
dc.subjectContemporary experience of fireen_US
dc.subjectEarthed spiritualityen_US
dc.subjectSpirituality and natureen_US
dc.subjectRitual studiesen_US
dc.subject.lcshFire--Religious aspects--Christianity
dc.subject.lcshFire--Religious aspects
dc.titleMultivalence, liminality, and the theological imagination : contextualising the image of fire for contemporary Christian practiceen_US
dc.contributor.sponsorUniversity of St Andrews. School of Divinityen_US
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen_US
dc.publisher.institutionThe University of St Andrewsen_US
dc.publisher.departmentInstitute for Theology, Imagination and the Artsen_US

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    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
    Except where otherwise noted within the work, this item's licence for re-use is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International