South African society is engaged in an intensive process of transformation and change. This transformation is an extremely complex and difficult process in the light of the enormous social and economic problems of the South African population. In this unique context practical theology is practised as an academic theological discipline with a view on the role of religious praxis in the transformation process. The South African approach to practical theology has the following characteristics. It is a critical, contextual theology of a liberational, transformative nature that works with a communicative theory of action based in a critical hermeneutical framework. It takes the concrete practical situation seriously and is therefore empirically oriented.