Master of Arts
Badcock, Gary D.
This thesis argues for the importance of doctrine in faith formation and retention among emerging adults in contemporary Canadian Christianity. Advocating a holistic approach to faith which blends mindful doctrinal engagement with the practical and emotional aspects of faith, the thesis maintains that the relevance of doctrine has largely been underestimated by the churches. Recent cross-denominational research commissioned by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, in Hemorrhaging Faith (2012) and Renegotiating Faith (2018), is used to argue this case, alongside recent treatments of the doctrine of the Trinity. The latter is used as a case study, drawing on the work of Colin Gunton, Kevin Vanhoozer, and Miroslav Volf. Special attention is given to Gunton’s definition of personhood – being-in-relation – and to its potential intersection with theories of psychosocial development, drawing on Erik Erikson, Jeffery Arnett, and Paul Verhaeghe. A renewed trinitarian outlook is thus applied to emergent adult identity formation and discipleship.
Summary for Lay Audience
This thesis explores the importance of theology to contemporary Christianity, particularly among Canadian young people ages 18-29. Advocating a holistic approach to faith which values beliefs alongside practices and emotional engagement, the thesis maintains that the relevance of theology and the mind of faith has largely been underestimated by the churches. Drawing on the work of several twentieth century theologians, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is used as a case study to advocate for renewed theological depth and to address some of the practical concerns raised in recent Canadian research regarding the identity formation and faith formation of young adults. Special attention is given to theologian Colin Gunton’s definition of personhood (beings-in-relation) and emphasis on living as persons-in-relationship-with-others instead of as autonomous individuals.
Edgar, Tabitha Petrova, "Personhood, Particularity, and Perichoresis: The Doctrine of the Trinity in Identity and Faith Formation" (2021). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 7900.