Seditious theology : imaginative re-identification, punk and the ministry of Jesus
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The following thesis investigates the British punk movement of the mid-late seventies and suggests that, by performing acts of imaginative re-identification, we may gain greater insights into both the phenomenon of punk and aspects of Jesus’ life, ministry, and teaching despite their axiomatic and sometimes problematic differences. To do this we explore the power of the sartorial creations that the movement adopted and the way in which they conveyed an oppositional protest message and stance. We explore punk graphics and the way in which they could offer a targeted critique of the nation. We look at punk performances and how they confrontationally engaged with their audiences and what they wanted to elicit in return. We reflect on women in punk, punk in Northern Ireland and the relationship between punk and the black community and the degree to which punk exhibited a counter-cultural attitude to relationships. Concluding our look at punk we investigate how society, the authorities and commerce reacted to the movement, before investigating punk as a trans-historical essence. Having explored punk and established imaginative connections we then revisit aspects of Jesus’ life and consider him as a subversive who negated some of the national symbols of Israel, collided with Jewish national authority and reversed many of the nation’s perspectives. We look at the more confrontational nature of Jesus, his use of symbolic physical statements and his interaction with women, teaching on enemies and the way he related to the outcast. We then conclude by showing the degree to which the present-day church has been absorbed into the surrounding culture and explore two instances in post-war theology where there has been a recovery of the more seditious pattern within Jesus’ life before seeing whether there is anything that the church may learn from imaginatively identifying with punk.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Electronic copy restricted permanently
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