Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Reconciliation and Intercultural Studies (MA-RIS)

Department

Theology

First Advisor

Brenda Salter McNeil, D.Min., Associate Professor of Reconciliation Studies

Keywords

Reconciliation—Religious aspects—Christianity, Hospitality—Religious aspects—Christianity, Social surveys, Power (Christian theology), Church work with the poor, Church work with the marginalized, Church work with the oppressed, Poverty—Religious aspects—Christianity, Narrative theology

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to explore the question, “Does the faithful embodiment of Christian hospitality that brings those in a social position of power together with the poor, marginalized and oppressed create a reconciled community where all people flourish and are equally valued?” The author explores theological, historic and ethical arguments for the practice of hospitality in order to develop a procedural guide to assist churches in teaching Christian hospitality.

Fifteen pastors were then surveyed to assess the viability of this tool as a means of leading congregations toward the practice of hospitality and the embodiment of reconciled community. Forty-seven percent of the pastors consulted responded to the survey. All respondents thought the procedural guide had the potential to lead congregations toward the practices of hospitality and reconciliation. Critiques and insights were offered based on the experience and preference of the respondent. These responses are discussed within this thesis. The input was then used to make recommendations for further study and development of hospitable, reconciling ministries where all people flourish and are equally valued. The conclusion of this study determined that the practice of hospitality presents challenges in that it must remain adaptable. In further developing hospitality processes, it is recommended that the Church focus on the development of a hospitable ecclesiology through the use of narrative.

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