A study of ordinary theologies of death in selected Pentecostal communities in Britain

  • Lloyd George Richards

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The substantial growth of global Pentecostalism over the last century has necessitated a better understanding of the beliefs and practices of Pentecostals throughout the world. In Britain and many other Western countries, there appears to be a growing multiplicity of diverse beliefs and practices in relation to death. While there is a growing literature on Pentecostal eschatology, Pentecostal theologies of death have received little academic attention.
    This study makes a distinctive contribution to the Pentecostal understanding of death and eschatology within a British context. It also seeks to identify some of the key issues that arise from the ordinary theologies of Pentecostals drawn from selected Pentecostal churches comprising of diverse ethnic and inter-generational groups. This study of ordinary theologies of death comprises of both theological analysis and theological reflection. For theological analysis, empirical data is gathered by means of interviews of Pentecostal clergy, focus groups with Pentecostal laity, observations of a selected number of funeral events, and content analysis of church documents and websites. For theological reflection, the model of ‘Theology in Four Voices’ developed by Action Research Church and Society Project is employed. This brings into dialogue the espoused theological voices of the clergy and laity, the operant theological voices embedded in death ritual practices, the normative theological voices of Pentecostal churches/denominations, and the formal voices of the academia. Ordinary theologies of death are also brought into dialogue with Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal scholarship where it helps to articulate or interpret the data.
    Date of Award6 Jul 2021
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Roehampton
    SupervisorNeil MacDonald (Director of Studies) & Richard Burgess (Co-Supervisor)


    • Theologies of death
    • ordinary theology
    • theology in four voices
    • Pentecostal eschatology
    • Pentecostal theology
    • death rituals
    • funeral rituals
    • African theology
    • Caribbean theology

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