Hermeneutic phenomenology as a methodology in the study of spiritual experience : case study: contemporary spirituality in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland
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This work considers the theoretical, epistemological and methodological criteria for a hermeneutic phenomenological approach to the study of spiritual experience founded within a qualitative paradigm. Spirituality is noted to be of increasing significance in society and as a developing discipline within the academy and spiritual experience is offered as an opening to greater understanding and appreciation of an individual’s understandings of their spirituality. The methodology provides an interpretative approach towards an opportunity for resonance, identification and empathy between individual and reader through richly descriptive narratives offering insights into such experiences and developing themes and threads of particular interest prior to seeking universal and semi universal traits between or amongst narratives. Practical methods for applying the methodology are considered, including ethical and researcher reflexive issues. The assessment of the methodology includes its application to a case study, located within contemporary Christianity in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland, which due to limitations of space focuses particularly on the notion of the Gift and assists in the determination of the efficacy and validity of hermeneutic phenomenology in the study of spiritual experience.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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