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Leisure and Christianity: the case of the Brethren

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dc.contributor.author Collins, Christopher William
dc.date.accessioned 2011-09-19T23:05:54Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-10-30T22:09:59Z
dc.date.available 2011-09-19T23:05:54Z
dc.date.available 2022-10-30T22:09:59Z
dc.date.copyright 1990
dc.date.issued 1990
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/26337
dc.description.abstract This study has sought to explore the broad area of leisure and Christianity and offers as a pilot study, an examination of the concept and perception of leisure of selected Brethren leaders from two different assemblies situated in a mid-sized provincial city. Part One is an overview of the leisure literature and selected contemporary Christian theological and philosophical writings on leisure. From diverse theological perspectives, each of these Christian writers affirms the place and role of leisure; some argue that there is a significant spiritual component in leisure. In apparent contrast, an historical sketch of Christian attitudes reveals that for much of the last 300 to 400 years, Christians have typically regarded leisure with caution and in some cases hostility. It was concluded that Christianity has been a significant influence in shaping the world views of its adherents and that these world views were in turn contributing determinants of Christian perceptions of leisure. The development of a strong work ethic is identified as a factor influential in these attitudes; Part One thus concludes with an examination of Weber's thesis on how the world view shift of Protestant Christians, brought about by the Reformation, affected leisure attitudes and behaviour. In Part Two the focus narrows to examine the case of one particular Protestant Christian group, the Open Brethren. A qualitative methodology is employed with the conducting of semi-structured, in-depth interviews with individuals who were both married and leaders within their respective assemblies. Results supported much of the leisure literature. Leisure appeared to be characterised by elements of perceived freedom and was seen as a time free from necessity or obligation. Further, it involved freely chosen activities, characterised by certain experiences or states of mind, such as pleasure, freedom, enrichment, satisfaction and celebration. Some thought of leisure in terms of the quality it bestowed on life; this was particularly evident with regard to family life. Several spoke of what they perceived to be a spiritual component of leisure. For most this was simply an appreciation of natural beauty which prompted and inspired worship. For a minority there was a recognition that leisure had the potential to free the mind in a way that facilitates a greater receptivity to the 'spiritual realm'. Findings tended to confirm the notion that an individual's understanding of the world directly influences his or her leisure attitudes and behaviour; as the world view of the Brethren underwent shifts in focus, so too did their attitudes and behaviour towards leisure change. A move from a position of hostility towards leisure to a position of acceptance was evident. The intention is not to suggest a one-sided causal interpretation of the reasons for change. Other factors are also pertinent, such as how the development and character of Brethren attitudes, ideas and behaviour have in turn been influenced by the totality of social and economic conditions. This study presents one possible starting point to understanding the relationship between leisure and Christianity. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.title Leisure and Christianity: the case of the Brethren en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.discipline Recreation Administration en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Masters en_NZ


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