Download the full-sized PDF of Christian Education, Binary Constructions and Deleuzian ThoughtDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Christian Education, Binary Constructions and Deleuzian Thought Open Access


Other title
dichotomous thinking
good and evil
Christian education
educational research
insider and outsider
breaking binaries
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Clarke, Bryan
Supervisor and department
Parsons, Jim (Secondary Education)
jagodzinski, jan (Secondary Education)
Wallin, Jason (Secondary Education)
Examining committee member and department
Lamoureux, Denis (St. Joseph's College - Science and Religion)
Walker, Keith (University of Saskatchewan - Educational Administration)
Brouwer, Wytze (Secondary Education and Physics)
Department of Secondary Education

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This dissertation is written as a series of interconnected papers around a theme– an accepted procedure by the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research – because such a process seemed to better further the goals I have to speak to a variety of Christian audiences and because it best fitted with the impact I found in Deleuzian thinking. In some ways, my work is an in medias res narrative – a humble beginning to a lifetime of scholarly study. Although I have committed to reading and understanding philosopher Gilles Deleuze, I know such work would take a lifetime and I know much more understanding will follow when this work has been completed. The introduction outlines my personal journey from my own thesis work in the fields of religion and science (as I understood them) and to assess and explore why students, teachers, and researchers get caught in binaries and dichotomous thought. Chapter one explains my journey from a beginning background in hermeneutic phenomenology to the current moment where Deleuze is used as a conversation partner with my Christian faith – a faith that, similar to my scholarly study, remains an ongoing development. Chapter two seeks to question educational research that avoids living in the flux, and remains caught in the problem of comparison. I address the constructed binary of sacred and secular and insider and outsider and, informed by Deleuzian thought, I use a strategy of ‘breaking binaries’ or complexification to encourage Christian researchers like myself to work towards openness to others outside of our own communities, to become more self-aware of our tendencies to split a complex and dynamic world into pre-judged categories, and to live open to researcher becoming that allows for exploring our own differences and becoming better bridge builders to those with other beliefs. Chapter three addresses a binary that “lurks” in much philosophical Christian religious discourse – transcendence and immanence. Using a number of major thinkers whose work employed to thought can, I believe, inform these constructed categories, from Martin Luther to Gilles Deleuze, and following from chapter one, I discuss ways to think differently, to break this binary as an immanence that needs transcendence, and vice versa, a way of saying each is indistinguishable from the other. Although this binary might seem an odd formulation to some thinkers, it is a formulation that has a certain hold within the Christian community – a hold I wish to complexify. In light of this and Deleuzian thought I then discuss educational implications. Chapter four engages Deleuzian thought applied to the practical dichotomy of good and evil (another constructed binary) searching for a creative way to discuss culture and religious issues related to marginalizing others. I close with implications for approaching researching and teaching that desires to be open to a world breaking binary constructions of good and evil. Finally, I include two published papers in the appendices that apply a Deleuzian concept of rhizome, first to researchers becoming rhizomic in their approach to their fields of discourse, and second to rhizomatic thought in social studies practice. They are included as chapters five and six to show some implications of Deleuzian thought for education. Rhizomic Interludes have been included to connect the chapters, as a way to show my research process.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Clarke, B., Parsons, J. (2013). Becoming Rhizome Researchers. Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology, 4(1), 35-43.Parsons, J., & Clarke, B. (2013). Rhizomic Thinking: Towards a New Consideration of Social Studies Practice. Social Studies Research and Practice 8(3), 89-98.

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (PDF/A)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 1903821
Last modified: 2016:06:24 18:34:04-06:00
Filename: Clarke_Bryan_GB_201509_PhD.pdf
Original checksum: 5a864b7986f36e8678b8fde0e91a251d
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date