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SRC 2006-06: A Grounded Theory for an Ecclesial Self-Constituting Praxis

The felt-need for constructive change which the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCPII, 1991) inexorably set into motion for the local church provides a challenge to the academic theologians to generate and develop a grid on significant and evident results due to an inadequate model to explain the logos of reason which underlies its praxis and thus discern the phronetic wisdom that leads to transformative action. This challenge was evidenced, first, by the mixed impressions generated by the comprehensive reports submitted to the National Consultation on Church Renewal (2000), and, second, by the seeming inability or reticence of the majority of the churches to pass sentence on which among the several strategies they employed proved effective enough to realize the insights, judgments and values of PCPII for church’ self-constitutive change. The twin purpose of this study was to achieve the following outcomes: (1) to gain a better understanding of the lived experience of church organized behavior as a social process, and (2) to develop a grounded theory that can help explain, predict and upgrade its social psychological behavior of self-constituting change. This study proceeded according to the normative patterns of Bernard Lonergan’s transcendental method. It also utilized grounded theory for a systematic comparative analysis and generalized explanation of collected qualitative data from the documents and records submitted by the 61 dioceses for the National Pastoral Consultation on Church Renewal held in 2000 to evaluate the process and productivity of PCPII. As the total process by which the church as a given expression of Christian faith comes to be and perseveres in a given context, self-constitution easily emerged as the core category of this grounded theory. It is the condensed and concentrated on-going effort of the local church that has given shape to it through a common tradition, context, and structures over time and across places. It is the self-propelled drive to find new ways of thinking and doing church both as a means and target of change. It is basically what its leaders and members have done within the first decade of the future-looking council. Its complex and dynamic nature is resolved by a core social process of self-constitution and its attached sub-categories or properties (observing-reflecting-resolving) that accounts for significant and evident change over time and for the variations of the challenging and difficult nature of its resolution.

UST-Research Cluster on Culture, Education and Social Issues
Authors Keywords
Asiones, Noel G.; formative change; grounded theory;
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Published in 2006 and available in the UST SRC Library or NO PDF AVAILABLE Downloaded 0 times since November 25, 2011
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