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dc.contributor.authorSpencer, Nicholasen
dc.description.abstractThe welfare state in Britain has been a subject of much ecclesiastical and pastoral concern since (before) its inception, but this interest has not been matched by any comparable and sustained theological engagement. This thesis seeks to redress this by drawing on the thought of William Temple, Jacques Maritain, John Paul II, and Rowan Williams to articulate a theologically-nuanced understanding of the proper function of the state vis-à-vis the provision of welfare. Drawing on the work of Gøsta Esping-Anderson, Raymond Plant and Alan Deacon in the introductory chapter, the thesis explains the justification for a normative approach to the welfare state that grounds itself in anthropological considerations. It then proceeds to analyse the theological anthropology of each of the four thinkers in question and to explore how these have informed and shaped each’s theology of the state vis-à-vis the provision of ‘welfare’. It argues that – contrary to the few theologically-informed analyses discussed in the introductory chapter that have engaged with this anthropological approach to welfare but have done so on an inadequate, unidimensional understanding of the person – a serious theological engagement with welfare will recognise and seek to honour a multi-dimensional understanding of human personhood. Thus, a theological understanding of human persons will recognise their created, material, agential, sinful, relational, transcendent, and creative nature, as well, in particular, as their ultimate orientation to, and fulfilment by, gift. These aspects of human personhood must be taken into consideration when determining welfare state policy, and the final chapter sets out why and how this can be done. Returning to the work of Deacon, Plant and Esping-Anderson, it argues that a multi-dimensionality needs to be incorporated into welfare state thinking as means of determining the range and nature of the “contestable social concepts” that lie behind thinking on welfare, and as a way of engaging with but problematizing the idea of welfare regimes, popularised by Esping-Anderson. It concludes by outlining a constructive response to the welfare state, by drawing on the various dimensions of human personhood to inform four ‘dimensions’ of the welfare state, namely work, participation, funding, and creativity in the design and delivery of services.en
dc.description.sponsorshipTheos British and Foreign Bible Societyen
dc.rightsAll rights reserveden
dc.rightsAll rights reserveden
dc.rightsAll rights reserveden
dc.subjectWelfare Stateen
dc.subjectWilliam Templeen
dc.subjectJacques Maritainen
dc.subjectPope John Paul IIen
dc.subjectRowan Williamsen
dc.titleMulti-dimensional personhood and the welfare stateen
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)en
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridgeen
dc.publisher.departmentFaculty of Divinity
dc.type.qualificationtitleDPhil in Divinityen
cam.supervisorFord, David
cam.supervisorChaplin, Jonathan

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