Love at First Step: A Study on Intimate Discipleship Informed by the Shema and Song of Songs

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2021

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This project explores the relationship between Christian discipleship and intimacy with God. Appreciating that many discipleship models focus exclusively on the New Testament and speak minimally to the soul’s ability to love, my own approach finds its base in the Old Testament, concentrating primarily on the Song of Songs and the Shema as texts that convey intimacy and love toward God.

My research will present a study on intimate discipleship that culminates in the form of a curriculum, but it will first survey a range of existing discipleship curricula. There are several excellent teaching resources draw on Matthew 28 to propose strategies about how to effectively make (and in some cases, mature) disciples, but the deep-seated religiopolitical tensions of our day are not simply calling for the making of new disciples; they are pressing Christians to assess the quality of our discipleship. Accordingly, my thesis will argue that to reclaim a more comprehensive discipleship, our conversation about faith practice should commence not with the Great Commission but rather the Great Commandment, which is derived from the Shema.

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Malone, Lydia (2021). Love at First Step: A Study on Intimate Discipleship Informed by the Shema and Song of Songs. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23624.

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