By Duncan B. Forrester
A ground-breaking contribution to present debates inside useful Theology and to pondering its future.Professor Forrester argues that the limits of useful Theology needs to be prolonged, and that it needs to be either heavily theological, and likewise engaged in honest discussion with different disciplines, the Church and society. He considers specially ministerial formation and Public Theology as components the place useful Theology has a massive contribution to make, and offers case reviews the sensible implications of alternative approaches.
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Extra resources for Truthful Action: Explorations in Practical Theology
13 See especially, Seward Hiltner, Preface to Pastoral Theology. Nashville: Abingdon, 1958. H A. V. Campbell, 'The Nature of Practical Theology', in D. B. ), Theology and Practice. London: Epworth, 1990, p. 15. '" Thomas C. Oden, Contemporary Theology and Psychotherapy. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1967. lfi Pannenberg, Theology and the Philosophy of Science. 42 Truthful Action as a whole has a proper concern with 'the praxis of life', but among the theological disciplines, practical theology has a special concern with praxis.
In this tradition the university is properly concerned only with Wissenschaft, a scientific commitment to relate everything to universal rational principles. Theology had to justify its place in such a university, and the scholar who did this most effectively was the eminent theologian, Schleiermacher. Schleiermacher Theology, Schleiermacher taught, is both scientific and has a practical task which should be pursued within the university the preparation of leadership for the Church. In justifying the 1 On this see Hans Frei, Types of Christian Theology.
Schleiermacher, Brief Outline on the Study of Theology. Trans. Terence Tice. Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1966. Practical Theology and (Christian Ethics 49 as the 'crown' of theological study, the real crown or capstone of his theological encyclopaedia lay outside theology, in 'science'; theology itself was not a science, but a discipline or set of disciplines which deploy the results of science for the sake of the leadership of the Church. Theology is thus almost parasitic upon science. 8 Unlike theology, ethics is a true science for Schleiermacher, but it has no pre-eminent role in relation to theology in general, or to practical theology in particular.