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Title:The Role of Leisure in the Personal Spirituality and Religious Practices of New Paradigm Christians
Author(s):Livengood, Jennifer S.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Stodolska, Monika
Department / Program:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Religion, General
Abstract:Scholars have suggested the existence of a multi-faceted relationship between religion and leisure (Brightbill, 1965; Heintzman, 1996, Johnston, 1983; Kelly, 1987; Norden, 1965; Pieper, 1963). New Paradigm Churches are a recent development within Christianity that combines modern culture with a conservative message (Miller, 1997; Sargeant, 2000). The purpose of this study was to improve our understanding of the role of recreation and leisure within the New Paradigm Churches, and in the lives of their members. The specific objectives of this study were to: (1) Explore what forms leisure takes within the New Paradigm Church, (2) Investigate the motivations for organizing and attending leisure activities within the Church domain, (3) Examine how leisure experiences are related to personal spirituality of members of the New Paradigm Churches, and (4) Investigate whether personal spirituality has an effect on leisure choices. In this dissertation, an interpretive ethnographic framework guided participant observations of Church activities and 17 semi-structured interviews with attendees of two of the New Paradigm Churches in Champaign-Urbana (Vineyard and Tapestry). Interviews were conducted with 7 women and 10 men between the ages of 22 and 60. Themes and sub-themes were developed utilizing the framework proposed by Glaser and Straus (1967). The findings of this study were divided into four major sections. First, the interviewees commented on the place of leisure within the Church, including leisure opportunities offered at the congregation and small group level. Second, participants described motivations for attending leisure events organized by the Church, such as building fellowship and outreach to non-Christians and the local community. Third, interviewees commented on how leisure provided them with an opportunity to experience their spirituality. Fourth, interviewees described how their personal spirituality guided them in their leisure choices, including helping them to judge the appropriateness of leisure and introducing possible constraints on leisure. This study makes an important contribution to the existing scholarship by improving our understanding of the place of leisure within the New Paradigm Church, the influence of religious beliefs on leisure choices, and the role of leisure in people's personal spirituality.
Issue Date:2007
Description:224 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3269965
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2007

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