Knowing as we are Known: Relational Epistemology in Practice

in Ecclesial Practices
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A study of congregational life has been illuminated by Christian relational epistemology. A shared Christian identity is fundamental to this research methodology, as relational epistemology is treated as an approach grounded in the relations of the Trinity, from which all Christian ontology derives. The congregation is shown to be a network of relationships and the relationship that the researcher establishes with its members is integral to the knowledge about its nature. This approach has also provided insight into the relation between secular theory and theology in the study of congregations and the ethical concerns arising from insider research into situations in which one has pastoral responsibility for research participants. The paper shows that some understanding of the nature of the congregation is not accessible to those who do not participate in its life and so recommends an epistemological method for all ministers, lay or ordained, who wish to study their congregations.

Knowing as we are Known: Relational Epistemology in Practice

in Ecclesial Practices