More Information
ISBN: 9781783681211
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 18
Publication Date: 14/12/2016
Pages: 336
Series: ICETE Series
Language: English

The Motif of Hospitality in Theological Education

A Critical Appraisal with Implications for Application in Theological Education


These are exciting times in theological education as old models are being reassessed and teachers and schools are looking for guidance on how best to do the job and how to profitably relate to students in the ministry of teaching. Increasingly, the motif of hospitality is being used to guide our thinking and practice, but it needs a careful assessment if it is to be of maximum use to theological education today.

This book provides an integrated biblical, theological, and educational rationale to inform theological educators of the place of hospitality in enhancing their quest to create more effective learning environments for the holistic formation of students. Dr Davina Soh explores key elements of hospitality such as inclusion, presence, care, and reciprocity, which when combined, can deliver the best possible educational experience for theological students and transform an entire institution.

Author Bios

Davina Hui Leng Soh

SOH HUI LENG DAVINA has a PhD in Education from Asia Graduate School of Theology Alliance and lives in Singapore with her husband Casey Ng. She has been involved in ministry across South East Asia since 1978, including pastoral ministry, children and adult discipleship, and as an academic lecturer at various institutions. Her teaching areas are Greek, New Testament, and Christian Education. Teaching is her passion and she desires to learn how to teach and relate more effectively to her students, and help others to do the same.


The work could not have come at a more appropriate time when many theological institutions, especially in the Majority World, are seeking to play catch-up with the West, and in their relentless pursuit of academic excellence, are encountering the same danger of ending up as soulless institutions.

Rev Simon Chan, PhD
Retired Earnest Lau Professor of Systematic Theology,
Trinity Theological College, Singapore

Soh’s book is a comprehensive, deep, and useful investigation of the motif of hospitality as a marker and model for good theological education.

Graham Cheesman, PhD
Honorary Lecturer in Theology,
Queen's University, Belfast

Davina Soh’s book has the potential to breathe new life into the relationship by its exploration of the concept of hospitality. While she is particularly sensitive to the needs of disempowered and multicultural students, and has a special interest in applying her research to Asian educational models, alleducators stand to gain from a close study of this book.

Brian V. Hill, PhD
Emeritus Professor of Education,
Murdoch University, Western Australia

Davina Soh’s work provides a vital academic contribution to the area of hospitality from a non-Western perspective. e study covers extensive secular and biblical research in the area of hospitality in higher education and theological education. This research will benefit Christian educators as they learn to extend hospitality to foreign students in a global world where theological institutions are populated by international students.

Ng Tjoh Dju, PhD
Adjunct Faculty Member,
East Asia School of Theology, Singapore

Davina Soh’s book is a “game changer” in evangelical theologies of higher education . . . it will have implications not only for how evangelicals are educated theologically, but will shape lifelong learners, ministers, missionaries, and servants with dispositions that will be inclusive of, vulnerable to, and reciprocal with the many different types of others in a radically pluralistic world.

Amos Yong, PhD
Author and Professor of Theology & Mission,
Fuller Theological Seminary

Table of Contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. List of Abbreviations

  4. 1 Introduction
    1. Research Statement and Hypotheses
    2. Assumptions and Delimitations
    3. Chapter Outline
  5. 2 The Motif of Hospitality in the Literature of Christian Higher Education and Theological Education
    1. Groundbreakers for Hospitality in Education
      1. Henri J. M. Nouwen
        1. Nouwen’s Dual Interest – Psychology and Practical Theology
        2. Nouwen’s Development of the Concept of Hospitality
        3. Salient Features of Nouwen’s Concept of Hospitality
        4. Contextual Analysis of Nouwen’s Concept of Hospitality
      1. Parker J. Palmer
        1. Parker J. Palmer’s Experience of Community and Contradiction
        2. Palmer’s Development of the Concept of Hospitality
        3. Salient Features of Palmer’s Concept of Hospitality
        4. Hospitality as an Epistemological Virtue
        5. Contextual Analysis of Palmer’s Concept of Hospitality
    2. Some Pertinent Interpretive Observations
      1. Hospitality as a Key Concept in Christian Higher Education
        1. Hospitality and the Pluralistic Environment
        2. Hospitality and the Academic Life and Community
        3. Hospitality and Classroom Process
      1. Hospitality as a Key Concept in Theological Education
        1. Hospitality and the Pluralistic Environment
        2. Hospitality and the Marginalized
        3. Hospitality and Classroom Process
    3. Summary
  6. 3 The Motif of Hospitality as Reflected in Contemporary Educational Research and Practice, and Higher Education Literature
    1. The Emotional and Relational Dimensions in the Teaching-Learning Process
      1. Shifting Trends in Higher Education
        1. From Teaching to Learning
        2. From Personal Constructivism to Social Constructivism
        3. From Cognition to Emotion
        4. Reality: From en to Now, from ere to Here
      2. The Emotional Aspects of Teacher-Student Relationships
      1. Hospitality as a Key Concept in Higher Education Literature
        1. Hospitality and the Teaching Profession
        2. Hospitality and the Academic Life and Community
        3. Hospitality and the Marginalized
        4. Hospitality and Classroom Process
      1. Parallel Practices of Hospitality in Contemporary Higher Education Educational Practices
        1. The Practice of Care
        2. The Practice of Inclusion
        3. The Practice of Dialogue
      1. Summary
    2. 4 The Biblical Basis for the Motif of Hospitality in Theological Education
      1. God as Host
        1. The Practice of Hospitality in the Life of the Israelites
          1. Reception of the Guest
          2. Provision of Food and Protection
          3. Sending Off of the Guest
        2. Israel’s Experience of God as Host
        3. Israel’s Moral Obligation in Relation to God as Host
      2. Jesus as Guest-Host
        1. The Significance of Jesus’ Praxis of Inclusive Table Fellowship
          1. The Social Functions of Table Fellowship
          2. The Intent of Jesus’ Table Fellowship
        2. Jesus’ Instructions on Hospitality from and to Others
          1. The Mission of the Early Faith Communities
          2. The Final Judgment
        3. The Early Faith Communities as Hosts
          1. Homes/Households as Houses of Hospitality
          2. Injunctions to Show Hospitality
          3. Expressions of Hospitality in the Life of Early Faith Communities
            1. Worship and Common Meals
            2. Caring for the Needy
      3. Summary
    3. 5 A Critical Dialogue towards the Application of the Motif of Hospitality in Theological Education
      1. Hospitality as a Cluster Concept
      2. Constitutive Element 1: Inclusion
        1. Hosts Rather than Hostages
        2. Boundaries as Horizons
        3. Intentional Marginality
      3. Constitutive Element 2: Presence
        1. Embodied Presence of Self
          1. Embodied Presence as Connection to Self
          2. Embodied Presence as Connection to the Other
        2. Articulate Presence to the Other
      4. Constitutive Element 3: Care
        1. Being a Friend to the Other
        2. Listening to the Other
      5. Constitutive Element 4: Reciprocity
        1. Reciprocity, Role Sharing, and Gi Sharing
        2. Reciprocity, Dialogue, and Partnership
      6. Summary
    4. 6 Conclusion
      1. Research Statement, Hypotheses, and Findings
      2. Significance, Limitations, and Areas for Further Research

    5. Endword
    6. Bibliography