Empirical theology offers fresh and stimulating insights into the concerns of both the Church and the Academy. It does this by accessing relevant empirical evidence using the tools of the social sciences, and placing this evidence in the context of theological critique and contemporary debate.
In this pioneering collection of focused essays, leading experts of empirical theology illustrate key perspectives within this rapidly expanding discipline.
The first section of the book explores theoretical issues underpinning the main methods of obtaining empirical data, and the use of these data within theology. The other two sections display the role both of qualitative studies, and of the analysis of quantitative data, in exploring a range of theological beliefs and religious, social and educational concerns.
Leslie J. Francis is Professor of Religions and Education within the University of Warwick. His original research concerning the connections between theology and the social sciences has been recognised by higher doctorates from the Universities of Oxford (DD), Cambridge (ScD) and Wales (DLitt).
Mandy Robbins is Senior Research Fellow in the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of Warwick.
Jeff Astley is Directior of the ecumenical North of England Institute for Christian Education and Honorary Professorial Fellow in Practical Theology and Christian Education in the University of Durham.
Table of contents
Preface ... xi
Introduction ... xiii
Chapter One Establishing Truth from Participation and Distanciation in Empirical Theology ... 3
Jaco S. Dreyer
Chapter Two Truth and Method in Empirical Theology ... 27
Chapter Three Religious Identity in Comparative Research ... 41
Johannes A. van der Ven
Chapter Four Epistemological Reflections on the Connection between Ideas and Data in Empirical Research into Religion ... 73
Chris A.M. Hermans
Chapter Five Towards a Generic Model of Religious Ritual ... 101
Chapter Six Comparative Empirical Research in Religion: Conceptual and Operational Challenges within Empirical Theology ... 127
Leslie J. Francis
Chapter Seven Adolescents’ Views of Denominational Identities and of Dialogical Religious Education: An Empirical Study from Germany ... 155
Chapter Eight Ordinary Soteriology: A Qualitative Study ... 177
Ann Christie and Jeff Astley
Chapter Nine Narrative Competence and the Meaning of Life: Measuring the Quality of Life Stories in a Project on Care for the Elderly ... 197
Thijs Tromp and R. Ruard Ganzevoort
Chapter Ten The Theological Case for Christian Schools in England and Wales: A Qualitative Perspective Listening to Female Alumnae ... 217
Tania ap Siôn, Leslie J. Francis and Sylvia Baker
Chapter Eleven Faith or Morality? ‘Theological Sediments’ Depending on the Centrality, Content, and Social Context of Personal Religious Construct Systems ... 249
Stefan Huber and Constantin Klein
Chapter Twelve Socialisation and Empirical-Theological Models of the Trinity: A Study among Theology Students in the United Kingdom ... 269
Mark J. Cartledge
Chapter Thirteen Religious Socialisation in the Family: A Multi-dimensional and Multi-level Perspective ... 291
Sabine Zehnder Grob, Christoph Morgenthaler and Christoph Käppler
Chapter Fourteen Apostolic Networks in Britain: Personality and Praxis ... 321
William K. Kay
Chapter Fifteen Xenophobia and Religious Pluralism: An Empirical Study among Youth in Germany ... 339
Hans-Georg Ziebertz and Ulrich Riegel
Chapter Sixteen A Church Divided by Theology and Practice: The Case of the Admission of Children to Communion in the Church in Wales ... 365
List of Contributors ... 387
Name index ... 393
Subject index ... 401
Academic departments (within universities) concerned with theology, religious studies, religious education and the social scientific study of religion. Church-related institutions concerned with theological education and seminary training.