Hva er praktisk teologi?


  • Tone Stangeland Kaufman
  • Lars Johan Danbolt




What is practical theology? With Olav Skjevesland’s 1999 volume on practical theology
in the Norwegian and Nordic context as a backdrop and Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore’s
fourfold understanding of practical theology as its point of departure, this article seeks
to sketch out some perspectives of the international field of practical theology. We
thus begin by presenting and discussing practical theology as (1) a discipline, (2) a
curricular area and an umbrella term for sub disciplines such as homiletics, pastoral
care, liturgical studies, etc., (3) a method, or more precisely methods, and (4) a way of
life. Following this presentation, the article argues for an understanding of practical
theology where practice and theory, and the practices of research and teaching are
enacted in a mutually enriching and engaging way and, thus, moves beyond a «binary
captivity» between the clerical and academic paradigm. Emphasizing an empirical and
hermeneutical approach to practical theology, typical for the field the way it is being
undertaken in our Nordic context, we make the case that such research contributes to
the field of practical theology, including the practical theological sub- disciplines, not
by having access to a particular theological epistemology but by allowing and inviting
new theological voices and perspectives into the theological conversation, and, hence,
to the production of novel theological knowledge






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