The Anglican Church of Australia engaging with people living with disabilities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in rural, regional and remote communities

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

This thesis explores the question: How do people in rural, regional and remote Australia, in particular people living with disabilities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, perceive that the Anglican church engages with them and they with it? The Anglican church is one of the largest established and most enduring religious organisations in rural Australian society. People living with disabilities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds may engage with the church and vice versa. There is, however, a paucity of research about the Anglican church in rural Australian and its engagements with these two groups. This thesis utilises a Co-operative Inquiry methodology to collect and analyse narratives, perceptions and themes about rural Anglican church engagements with people living with disabilities and from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. An integrated lens with an epistemological base in social work, sociology and theology provided the framework which supports and guides the analysis presented. This tri-partite lens provides a comprehensive and holistic understanding.
This thesis incorporates five publications. Together they are a resource for faith-based and other organisations in Australia concerned with ensuring dignity and respect for all through the nurturing of peoples’ faith, and by acts of inclusion and integration. The main findings to emerge from the publications are as follows: first, the co-inquirers perceived that peoples’ faith matters and that the rural Anglican church in Australia is actively engaging others within their localities, and vice versa. Second, the church is perceived and experienced as a community that follows Jesus’ example of gathering, serving and sending out people who then gather and serve those around them. Third, their engagements ─ as described by the co-inquirers ─ transcended cultural and social structural distinctiveness. Positive engagements, as outlined in this thesis, encouraged relationships with God and others. The thesis concludes that the rural Anglican church in Australia can be a dynamic place of welcome, connection, participation and belonging both for individuals with the lived experience of disability and/or migration, and for their local communities. 
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Bowles, Wendy, Principal Supervisor
  • Broughton, Geoffrey, Co-Supervisor
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2021

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