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The goal of this study is to explore the cultivation of new imagination for hospitality so that the congregation of Coast Vineyard Christian Fellowship is able to share life with its neighbors and to discover what the Spirit of God is doing in the neighborhoods of San Diego, California. It is argued that cultural narratives framing hospitality as providing comfort and framing the church as the host have accumulated to shape the habitus of the church. As a result, often preconscious assumptions with bodily rooting undermine the ability of the congregation to play the role of the guest and thus to share life with neighbors.

A research process of action and reflection identified the centrality of bodily practices to the formation of imagination for home, host, and guest. In order to challenge the habits and assumptions around hospitality that undermine relationships with neighbors, a missional action team was formed with commitments to table fellowship, dwelling in scripture, reciprocal hospitality, and team discernment. A team of church members was led through six months of formation in these practices to investigate whether new imagination would emerge that would facilitate reciprocal relationships with neighbors.

The study suggested that deeply held habits and preconscious assumptions around hospitality are not easily transformed. An important finding of the research was that the congregation’s understanding of and language for time seemed to be significantly inhibiting the practice of hospitality, thereby undermining relationships with neighbors. Because the language house for time is so deeply implicated in the practice of hospitality, the concluding recommendations suggest a group of practices designed to problematize the habitus of the church both with respect to imagination for hospitality and to the conceptualization of time. It is hoped that experimentation in this direction will lead to rediscovery of the gospel of Jesus.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Roxburgh, Alan J.

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Hospitality, Luke 10, Bodily practices, Habitus, Pierre Bourdieu, Aesthetic, Imagination, Coast Vineyard Christian Fellowship, San Diego, California, Islamic Center of San Diego, relationships, Pastoral theology, Evangelistic work, Witness bearing (Christianity), Christian ethics, Church and the world


Practical Theology


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