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KESS2 PhD Scholarship: Faith Communities and ‘Creation-Care’: A Values-Lead Approach to Ecology


Project Description

The emerging effects of climate change have made finding sustainable and responsible ways of reducing our impact on the environment a matter of intense public interest. Engaging with the moral and religious logics that shape our perception of ecology is a strategic and indispensable component in the wider public conversation because of the way that these convictions shape practical judgments about the importance of environmental care.

This project will attempt just this kind of engagement. In keeping with the Welsh Government’s Environmental Strategy, it will aim to provide “appropriate education about our environmental impacts” within a tradition-specific framework. In consultation with the Evangelical Alliance of Wales (EAW), it will draw on the traditions and resources particular to evangelical Christianity, engaging with one of the fastest growing religious bodies in the United Kingdom to provide tradition-specific guidance for an effective response to our contemporary ecological crisis.
The project will assess the theological, moral, and spiritual traditions of evangelical Christianity, examining ways that these habits of faith might conceive, challenge, and/or enrich the contemporary practices and priorities of ecology. Proposals may consider a number of different methods or approaches, and may engage relevant research in other academic disciplines. But each should engage constructively with evangelical traditions, providing guidance to evangelical communities with the aim of promoting interest in the care of the natural environment.

The primary research question is:
• ‘How might the traditions of evangelical Christianity enrich and/or challenge the practices and priorities of contemporary ecology?’

The following work will be undertaken within the proposed project:
• Conduct research into the relevant aspects of theology and practice within the evangelical Christian tradition.
• Critical analysis of key texts and their theoretical frameworks relating the principles of evangelical theology to ecology.
• Place Christian theology in conversation with relevant research in companion disciplines across the sciences and humanities.
• Provide recommendations, consistent with the values of the Evangelical Alliance in Wales, for a coherent response to the contemporary ecological crisis.

Expected Outputs:
• This research will provide research into contemporary literatures on ecology and evangelical theology.
• It will provide education to leaders within the Evangelical Alliance of Wales, its affiliated institutions, and the Christian church more broadly.
• It will solicit wider participation and interest in this area, increasing involvement from a key religious organisation in the third sector.

Applicant

Essential:
• Hold a Masters qualification in a field of the Arts and Humanities.
• Knowledge of the evangelical Christian tradition.
• A willingness to work closely with faith organisations and practitioners.
• Have skills and experience in analysing and presenting complex ideas simply and for a variety of audiences.
• Have demonstrated excellent written and oral communication skills Competence in using appropriate software and platforms.
• Have an interest in the role faith organisation can play in society and in environmental issues.
• Have initiative, self-motivation, and ability to effectively manage own time and undertake independent research activity.
• Excellent inter-personal skills with ability and commitment to work effectively as part of a collaborative team.
• Ability to establish strong collaboration with the Evangelical Alliance Wales.
Desired:
• Hold a Masters qualification in Christian theology.
• Have experience of working as part of a multidisciplinary team as well as working with external partners.

How to apply

Questions about the scholarship and research project may be directed to the project supervisor, Dr Timothy Baylor ().
A completed application package should be submitted to Dr Matt Briggs by 12th September 2019. Applications received after this point will not be considered.
Application package
Please download the following documents from the UWTSD website here :
http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/rdp/funding-and-projects/kess-ii/

Funding Notes

Funded by KESS 2 East. Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.
This studentship consists of full UK/EU tuition fees at UK/EU rate, as well as a tax-free Doctoral Stipend starting at £14,483 p.a. for 2019/20.

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