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Practical Theology: from Applied to Empirical Theology

In: Journal of Empirical Theology
Authors:
J.A. van der VenTheological Institute Department of Pastoral Theology Heyendaalseweg 121A 6526 AJ Nijmegen The Netherlands

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Johannes A. Van Der Ven
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Abstract

In this article the history of practical theology is reconstructed from the perspective of its main problem: the relation between theory and praxis. The first part refers to the academic status of practical theology, interpreted as applied theology. This interpretation fails to solve the problem, as we shall see. The second part entails a proposal towards the re-interpretation of practical theology in terms of empirical theology. After a critical reflection upon the history of this term, already in use since the beginning of this century, the material and the formal object are described, including some methodological aspects of it.

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