Date of Submission
Peters, A. (2011). The effect of the emerging paradigm of diversity on the church and its leadership (Thesis, Australian Catholic University). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.4226/66/5a96125ac6861
Aims and Problems: Between the 1950s and 1990s, a paradigm-change occurred at foundational levels that has had global effect. In this research, I address a number of problems, related to leadership in the church, which have arisen out of this paradigm-change. The first problem relates to the validity of clerical leadership in the new paradigm. The immense effect of the current paradigm-change upon the church led some leadership gurus to propose a change in the locus of leadership in the church, from the clergy to laity. They implied that the clerical leadership was responsible for the deplorable state of the church, and were not appropriately situated to, or capable of, leading the church in the new paradigm. The second problem relates to the reaction and resistance of the community of faith to the current paradigm-change, reflected in its reversion to, and retention of, the toxic operational and communicative structures of the old Christendom paradigm. This suggests that the church faces the danger of resisting God's activity and purpose in the midst of this paradigm-change. The third problem relates to the hiatus in leadership and decision-making, due to the catastrophic nature of the paradigm-change and the subsequent confusion between clerical and lay leaders as to who is in control of what aspects of the church's life. Overwhelmed by this, the church is tempted to withdraw even further into its private religious enclave. I propose that the clerical leadership of the church could be well situated to, and capable of, effectively leading the church in the emerging paradigm of diversity if it adopted the new leadership framework established by the paradigm-change. This would see a transformation of the church's operational and communicative structures, without the loss of its centred values and beliefs, and a reduction in the hiatus in leadership and decision-making.
School of Theology
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Faculty of Theology and Philosophy