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A theology of leadership: From social justice for transformation

Robertson, Deborah (2016) A theology of leadership: From social justice for transformation. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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In response to leadership in contemporary workplaces being under pressure from a neoliberal agenda, in which workers are often seen as economic subjects rather than persons entitled to fulfilling work, the purpose of this thesis was to develop a theology of leadership for Christian leaders.

The study is placed within the theological sub-discipline of practical theology understood as bringing together, rather than being separate from, other sub-disciplines of theology such as systematic and moral theology. The intent of this practical theology is to support Christian leaders in enacting a theology of leadership that deepens their understanding of the kingdom of God and "what it means to be a people of God".

Existing theology of leadership literature is explored to establish the elements of a theology of leadership. A conceptual framework is developed comprised of the three core concepts of purpose, people and praxis, within which are contained twelve essences. The content of this framework led to an investigation of Christian social teaching, as well as secular social justice, leadership and organisational literature, to judge whether these areas can fulfil and expand the elements of a theology of leadership. A model of a "theology of leadership: from social justice for transformation" is then presented. It is argued that this theology has the potential to guide and support the work of Christian leaders, in both faith-based and secular workplaces, for the purpose of individual and social transformation and the common good.

Four contemporary business organisations are analysed using the model and it is argued that it is possible for this theology of leadership to be enacted in many contemporary workplaces. A further chapter identifies and discusses resources which can support the Christian leader in both the professional and personal realms in the enactment of a "theology of leadership: from social justice for transformation".

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Supervisor(s): Ault, Nancy
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