Creative arts-based research methods in practical theology: Constructing new theologies of practice

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This article explores the emerging trajectory of creative arts-based research methods in practical theology. Creative arts-based approaches work with the embodied, material, imaginative, and sacred, foregrounding questions of representation and interpretation. Whilst seen as novel or emerging, creative methods fulfil key practical theological tasks and reveal the roots of the discipline as already creative and constructive. Drawing on Westfield’s engagement with poetry and poetic writing, Byrne’s studio-based visual arts practice, and Walton’s life writing and autoethnography, the article examines the distinctiveness of creative methods in representing lived experiences and generating new, liberative theologies. The article engages collaborative creative arts-based research to discuss practical and ethical issues in undertaking these methods. The paper concludes by reflecting on the possibilities for the future of practical theologies shaped through creative methods.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCelebrating the Past, Present and Future of British and Irish Practical Theology
Subtitle of host publicationRoots, Shoots, and Fruits
EditorsAndrew P. Rogers, Nicola Slee
ISBN (Print)9780367535360
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2021


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