Reimagining Narratives http://www.reimaginingnarratives.com/ is a doctoral research project that I [SMcK] am currently supervising.
Christianity is currently experiencing change. Popular research on Christian spirituality in the West tells us that people are leaving traditional Christian churches en mass. Research (e.g. Lyons, Kimball ) also suggests that many people are tired or suspicious of institutionalised religion.
While many Christian churches are in decline, spirituality and religious beliefs in various forms are flourishing at an unprecedented rate. This tells us that people are still being drawn to something greater than themselves.
Focussing on the negatives and taking a problem-solving approach rarely brings about positive change. Instead, Theresa, the principal researcher, is approaching this issue with an appreciative view of Christian spirituality. To do this, she is gathering many stories, along with people’s collective ideas for the future and using them to explore the role of Christian spirituality in contemporary society.
Theresa will then be sharing her research findings via thesis and the arts (e.g. mixed media). Arts-based research is being used as the arts tend to stimulate inquiry, reflection and connection at all levels and, in a broad sense, can create common ground for discussion and the identification of issues. In many ways, Theresa will be acting as a story broker who draws upon multiple stories that come out of the inquiry. This will work a treat as we live in such a media driven society where hearing and reading often play a secondary role and because the expressivity of the artwork will provide you all with the opportunity to participate in events or stories in which you may not otherwise engage.