Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

Prelude to Practical Theology: Variations on Theory and Practice

Academic journal article Currents in Theology and Mission

Prelude to Practical Theology: Variations on Theory and Practice

Article excerpt

Prelude to Practical Theology: Variations on Theory and Practice. By Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner. Nashville: Abingdon, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-0-6876-4729-3. Paper. $18.00.

Professor Stevenson-Moessner offers this rich, poetic composition as an introduction to the world of practical theology. Appealing to musical metaphors throughout the hook, the author invites the reader to imagine the necessary contribution of a feet-onthe-ground theology to the whole of the theological enterprise. Schleiermacher classically conceptualized the division of labor within the theological disciplines as threefold: philosophical, historical, and practical theology. Reclaiming the image of a tree, Stevenson-Moessner envisions philosophical theology (including systematics) as the root system, historical theology (including biblical exegesis and church history) as the trunk, and practical theology as the branches and leaves. This work aims to demonstrate the organic interplay among these parts and the vital contribution of practical theology to the whole.

Case studies provide the point of departure for theological reflection at the center of this book--the challenges facing a congregation in the resettlement of a refugee family, reflections on the experience of a young pastor leading a congregation to respond generously to the purported needs of a con artist, or the discovery of ministry done by a woman dying of cancer. …

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