A Light Shines in the Darkness: Preaching the Logos for an Anxious World

Full Title
A Light Shines in the Darkness: Preaching the Logos for an Anxious World
Author
Michael Andrew Meyer D.Min.
Abstract
The world is experiencing a dramatic increase in the incidence of anxiety; yet, preaching is largely silent. Drawing upon the Psychology of Meaning and the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel, this thesis project developed and tested a preaching methodology to respond to the significant increase in anxiety in the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, by addressing the sense of meaninglessness that often causes or aggravates anxiety.

Chapter 1 presents the project’s genesis, its ministerial context, and the magnitude of the problem it seeks to address. An interdisciplinary framework built upon the Psychology of Meaning and Dr. Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy in Chapter 2 lays the groundwork for the highly sacramental christology of meaning rooted in Jesus Christ as Logos that emerges as the project’s theological framework in Chapter 3. These concepts find natural allies in the dialectical and sacramental theological imaginations and the undeniably Scriptural genre of testimony, the project’s homiletic foundations presented in Chapter 4.

A preached retreat, held on November 13, 2021, served as the project’s ministerial intervention and tested its hypothesis before twenty-one adults living in the Diocese of Metuchen who experience anxiety. Chapter 5 discusses the retreat in detail and the qualitative and quantitative data obtained through the insider, outsider, researcher multiple data-collection technique used in the intervention. These data, discussed in Chapter 6, support the hypothesis that preaching meaning in Jesus Christ, the Logos, offers a pastoral response to the significant increase in anxiety by countering the sense of meaninglessness often associated with this condition. They also provide fertile ground for further research and inspire the future uses of the findings and observations that conclude this work.
Degree Granting Institution
Country
United States
Degree Granted
Doctor of Ministry
Major
Preaching
Type of Work
D.Min. Project
Advisor
Michael Anthony Abril Ph.D.
Thomas C. Barrett Ph.D.
Language
English
Date
2022
Number of Pages
278
Copyright Statement
Copyright is held by author. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.