We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Sociology

Sociology Department Staff

Publication details for Dr Andrew Orton

Orton, A. & Withrow, L. (2015). Transformative Potentials of Liminal Leadership. Journal of Religious Leadership 14(1): 23-44.

Author(s) from Durham


This article considers the crucial contribution of liminal leaders who engage with individuals and groups temporarily dwelling in spatial-temporal thresholds, thresholds in which dissonance and dislocation provide opportunities for transformative growth. These liminal leaders focus their work in "betwixt and between" spaces and times, bringing people together across boundaries and enabling critical collective reflection that creates new ways forward. Two examples of how this liminal leadership can be transformative within religious organisations are included in the article: one in higher education from the United States, and one related to the British Methodist Church from the United Kingdom.