Italians doing local theology: a multisite empirical inquiry in Piedmont towns with special reference to Antonio Gramsci

PhD thesis


Baccarella, M. 2023. Italians doing local theology: a multisite empirical inquiry in Piedmont towns with special reference to Antonio Gramsci. PhD thesis Middlesex University / Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS) School of Law
TypePhD thesis
TitleItalians doing local theology: a multisite empirical inquiry in Piedmont towns with special reference to Antonio Gramsci
AuthorsBaccarella, M.
Abstract

From whom and how Christians apprehend their Christian confession of faith, metabolising the Gospel where they live is a thorny issue in the discipline of Mission Studies, which has primarily addressed it under the rubric of contextualization. The discourse on Doing Local Theology (DLT) started in the mid-1970s and shares some characteristics with the adjacent contextualization discourse, which began in the same period. Each represents a response to the domino effect of upheavals in the world during the 1960s and 1970s. My introduction to the DLT discourse motivated me to implement a methodology featuring work in texts and the field to investigate the question: ‘How can Italian Evangelical leaders and laypersons in Piedmont towns move toward one another to do local theology communally and co-responsibly in their local churches?’. To answer this question, I scrutinized the birth and development of the DLT discourse and analysed the pertinence to DLT activity of Antonio Gramsci’s interrelated theories of the organic intellectual, senso comune and buon senso, and conceptions of the world. I also conducted a multisite empirical inquiry in two distinct phases of fieldwork with 64 contributors in nine Piedmont towns. I conclude that DLT-style local theologies are the products of deliberate (even methodical) guided and co-responsible processes of doing theology. A body of Christians, often native to where they reside and implement their theological insights, articulates them. DLT is a tool available to ecclesial groups who want to learn the art of theological discussion and pursue reciprocity between their leaders and laypersons. Though not a cure-all, DLT can stimulate ecclesial groups to renew their minds, metabolize the Gospel, and acquire shared clarity on vital everyday issues pertinent to their Christian witness.

Sustainable Development Goals16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
LanguageEnglish
Department nameSchool of Law
Business and Law
Institution nameMiddlesex University / Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS)
Collaborating institutionOxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS)
PublisherMiddlesex University Research Repository
Publication dates
Online25 Mar 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted24 Nov 2023
Deposited25 Mar 2024
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open
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Accepted author manuscript
MDBaccarella thesis.pdf
File access level: Open

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