The idea for this volume originates from the first meeting of the International Society of Empirical Research in Theology (ISERT) in 2002 at the Radboud University Nijmegen. In this volume, researchers and academics from South Africa, Great Britain, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands debate about the fundamental question of the role of theological normativity in empirical research in theological fields. In fourteen contributions this book would like to illuminate the significance of this central topic for the discipline of practical theology.
The first part of the book provides a discussion about the empirical character of practical theology and the consequences for scientific research in theological fields. The second part deals with the normative implications of empirical research. It is shown with the help of concrete research projects that empirical research is possible in practical theology and that theology works normatively in empirical research.
Stories have always been important in religion, but systematic explorations of the narrative dimensions of religion are more recent and interdisciplinary explorations of narrative approaches in theology and religious studies are scarce.
Religious Stories We Live By paves the ground for these much needed interdisciplinary conversations. It first offers philosophical, psychological, and epistemological reflections on the importance of narrative approaches in the study of religion. The subsequent sections contain case studies and disciplinary overviews of narrative perspectives in biblical, empirical, systematic, and historical approaches in theology and religious studies. Combined, the contributions showcase the potential of narrative perspectives in bridging theology and religious studies, as well as descriptive and normative approaches. Narrative perspectives offer a fruitful common ground for the study of religion.
Contributors include Angela Berlis, Marjo Buitelaar, James Day, Maaike de Haardt, Marieke den Braber, Luco van den Brom, Marjet Derks, Toke Elshof, Dorothea Erbele Küster, John Exalto, Ruard Ganzevoort, Joep van Gennip, Annelies van Heijst, Chris Hermans, Liesbeth Hoeven, Anne-Marie Korte, Edwin Koster, Marit Monteiro, Michael Scherer-Rath, Klaas Spronk, Piet Verschuren, Wim Weren, and Willien van Wieringen.