Research is always better when addressing a problem, at least that's what people good at research tell me.
At each supervision I have a fear that I will be unmasked as an idiot with ideas above my station (maybe that explains the dreams preceding my supervisions where I arrive naked and hope my supervisor won't notice? :-).
So after my last supervision, fully clothed, I came away and tweaked my research method problem and question. In other words what am trying to address and why?
For the few of you who need some sleep aids, the outline for that follows (I wrote a less academic version here):
Research Problem/Question 'I wish to explore and understand the nature of a consumerist, secular society as a competing religious system in particular its privatising effects upon Christian religious beliefs and practices such that Christianity is unable to function as a genuine public body, and how, without such public life, individuals cannot undergo Christian formation, and the implications for ecclesiology as a result of this exploration. I will be seeking to show that at the heart of this privatisation of faith, and withdrawal from public life, is the dialectic of structure and agency, best understood by a traditioned theological description of the anthropologies and soteriological teleologies at work. As a church planter this research seeks this diagnosis in order to address some the symptoms of this problem that impede the daily mission and life of my church community. These symptoms include the idealisation of church into ‘blueprints’ with a separation of theory and practice, so that these idealisation are never attempted or are abandoned at the first experience of human failing and frailty, the inability to engage in church as public and concrete mission despite the desire to do so, the seemingly endless self creation and identity crises of modern society that is then used to provide measures for the assessment of the ‘authenticity’ of church practices. '
How I aim to achieve this will follow in some follow up posts.