Theology and the Lure of the Practical: An Overview

Journal Article

Current trends in practical theology are found both within and outside of the typical divisions of theological education into the four fields of biblical studies, church history, systematic theology/ethics, and the so-called 'practical fields'. Although this fourth area was initially confined to ministerial/clerical practices, attention to the full complexities of lived faith have compelled developments that transcend that limiting definition, even if the constraints of that structure have not entirely disappeared. Movement from pastoral care as psychological treatment of individuals to its wider framing through contextual-political understandings illustrates the impact of critical social theory and liberation theologies. Interest in philosophical accounts of phronesis and bodily habitus that overcome the split between belief and practice shape and expand what counts as work in systematic theology. Continuing debates include the degree to which dynamics of power through political and global forces must be factored into lived faith and the desire to protect Christian identity versus appropriating knowledges from other 'sciences' of the human. Developments in religious studies on lived religion expand the complexity of the category practice and challenge traditional categories in theological education. (Author abstract)

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McClintock, M

Published Date

  • 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 1 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 294 - 304

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1749-8171

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1749-8171.2007.00022.x