Table of Contents


Wiley-Blackwell Companions to Religion

Title page

Copyright page


Notes on Contributors

INTRODUCTION: The Contributions of Practical Theology

PART I: Way of Life: Shaping Faith among Believers in Home and Society

CHAPTER 1 Suffering

What Is Suffering?

Theological Dilemmas: The Problem of Theodicy

The Problem of the Cross and Atonement Theology

Meaning-Making toward Hope and New Life

Implications of Suffering for Practical Theology

CHAPTER 2 Healing

History and Definition

Healing as Practical Theology

Healing Waters Apostolic Holiness Church

First Downtown Church

CHAPTER 3 Playing

A Practical Theological “Problem”

Playing as Embodied Theology

A Selective Survey of Playing in Practical Theology’s Subdisciplines

CHAPTER 4 Eating

Matters of Life and Death

Duties and Delight, Rules and Refreshment

Sources of Wisdom

Gathering at the Table

CHAPTER 5 Loving

Loving Questions and Practical Theology

Love and Loving: Definitions and Perspectives

Seeing the Other Whole

Forming a Just Bond and Loving Justly

Holding Nothing Back

CHAPTER 6 Consuming

“Codification” and Practical Theological Interrogation

Christian Faith and Consumer Culture

Engaging in Full Theological Reflection on Consumption

Faithful Practices and Practical Theology

CHAPTER 7 Blessing

Improvised Blessings

A Common Culture

Blessings for Whom?

The Biblical Logic of Blessing

The Practical Logic of Blessing

Practicing Blessing

PART II: Method: Studying Theology in Practice in Library and Field

CHAPTER 8 Case Study Method


Early Developments

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

Illustration of Case Method in Scripture

Another Illustration

Research and Theory Building

Theological Education and Ministry Formation

An Appraisal

CHAPTER 9 Psychological Theory

Operational Definition of Psychology Theory

A Short History of Psychology in the United States

Gender Concerns and Psychology Theory

Intellectual Partnerships and Psychology Theory

Pastoral Psychology Theory

Psychology Theory and Practical Theology

CHAPTER 10 Hermeneutical Theory

Why Interpretation Matters to Practical Theologians

Tracing the Development of Contemporary Hermeneutics

The Impact of New Methods of Text Interpretation

Hermeneutics and Postmodern Thought

Philosophical Hermeneutics and Practical Theology: Charles Gerkin and Thomas Groome

Postmodern Hermeneutical Practical Theology

CHAPTER 11 Quantitative Method

Why Be Empirical?

When to Choose Quantitative Methods

How to Do Research

What Makes Quantitative Research Practical?

CHAPTER 12 Congregational Studies

As a Research Situation

As a Research Literature

As a Research Methodology

What Practical Theology Offers

CHAPTER 13 Ritual Theory


Early History

Ritual Studies

Contemporary Directions

Ritual Theories and Practical Theologies

Beyond Practical Theology

CHAPTER 14 Social Policy

General Introduction to Practical Theology and Social Policy

Practical Theology’s Emerging Methods in Social Policy

Academic, Ecclesial, and Activist Collaborations

Practical Theology and Social Policy after 2001

CHAPTER 15 The Use of Scripture

The Elusiveness of Scripture in Practical Theology

The Bible as Resource: The Bible and Pastoral Care

Working from the Bible: The Bible in Worship and Spirituality

The Bible as Wisdom: The Bible and Theological Reflection

Discovering the Bible: The Bible and Empirical Research

CHAPTER 16 Poetics

The Poetics of Church

The Poetics of Practice

The Poetics of Testimony

CHAPTER 17 Emancipatory Theory and Method

The Early Years (1970–?1985): The Personal Becomes Political and Relational

The Middle Years (1985–1995): Revising Telos, Scope, and Methods

Recent Developments (1995–2010): From Power and Identity to Cultural Criticism and Epistemology

Methodological and Thematic Contributions

CHAPTER 18 Feminist Theory

Late again, Cinderella

Breaking the Silence

From “Incredibility” to “Credibility”

Finding a (Different) Voice: Articulating Resistance and Its Alternatives

“Writing for Our Lives”: The Return to Lived Experience

CHAPTER 19 Womanist Theory

Womanism and Scholarship in Theology and Religion

Pastoral Care and Counseling

Religious Education


Cultural/Congregational Studies

CHAPTER 20 Narrative Approaches

The Narrative Turn

Narrative Contributions from Outside Practical Theology

Narrative Approaches in Practical Theology

Narrative Research and Practical Theology

A Narrative Model

Evaluating Narrative Approaches

CHAPTER 21 Ethnography

Background and Definition

Ethnography in Practical Theology

Pastoral Ethnography

Relationship of Ethnography to Other Research Methods

CHAPTER 22 Participatory Action Research

Theology of Lo Cotidiano

The Emergence of Participatory Action Research

Faith Communities and Practical Theology

Methods in Participatory Action Research

Waiting on God in Practical Theology

CHAPTER 23 Theories of Practice

A Cultural Turn

Accounts of Practice

The Significance of Practice for Practical Theology

Emerging Questions

CHAPTER 24 Action Theories

Action and Modernity

Action and Practical Theology

Action Theories and Reason

Theology as Theory and Art

Human and Divine Action

Toward a Comprehensive Model of Action

Practice or “Lived Religion”

“You Are Always in Action”


PART III: Curriculum: Educating for Ministry and Faith in Classroom, Congregation, and Community

CHAPTER 25 Pastoral Care



Elements of Effective Pastoral Care

Teaching Pastoral Care and Wisdom

New Horizons in Pastoral Care

CHAPTER 26 Homiletics

A Case Study


Congregational Theology

Public Theology

Theology of Communication

Developing and Implementing Theologically Appropriate Skills and Practices

Practical Theology and the Homiletics Curriculum

CHAPTER 27 Worship

Preliminary Definitions of Worship

Recent Developments: Reform, Renewal, and the Symbolic Languages of Worship

Worship as an Integrated Interdisciplinary Field

Future Directions in the Study and Practice of Worship

CHAPTER 28 Religious Education

Traditions Still in the Making

Education as a Space for Questioning and Reinventing

Questioning and Wrestling

Engaging Direct or Implied Questions: Reader-Response Theory

Listening for Questions Lurking in the Margins

Joining Other Religious Traditions to Ask Common Questions: Interreligious Education

Practical Theology: Correlating the Deepest Questions

CHAPTER 29 Religious Leadership

Definition of Terms

Biblical Perspectives on Leadership

Classical Developments

Modern Models of Church Leadership

CHAPTER 30 Evangelism

Developments in the Scholarship and Teaching of Evangelism

Teaching a Practice

Description of Classroom Context

Pedagogical Approach

Embodying a Tradition in a Community of Disciples

CHAPTER 31 Spirituality

Encountering the Word

Spirituality and the Work of Justice

The Emergence of an Academic Discipline

Practical Theology and Spirituality

CHAPTER 32 Ethics

Ethics in the Dominant Eurocentric Culture

Ethics as a Cultural and Political Construct

Law and Order versus Justice

Practical Theology and the Case for a Liberative Ethics

The Practice of Liberative Ethics

CHAPTER 33 Contextual Education

The Learning Environment of Contextual Education Programs

The Case: Mary Goes Home Again

Why Contextual Education Teaches Ministerial Reflection

Integrating Multiple Perspectives

Interpreting Meaning

Acting Faithfully

Integrating Theory with Reflection on Acting

CHAPTER 34 Systematic Theology

Background History

The Modern University and Theological Education

New Challenges for a Theology that Would Be Practical

Toward New Forms of Practical Theological Education

CHAPTER 35 Historical Theology

Developments in Practical Theology

Historical Theology’s Turn to the Practical

Congregational Histories

Historical Discourse as Ideology and the Turn to Daily Life

Historical Theology, Practical Methodology, and Theological Education

CHAPTER 36 Biblical Theology

Correcting False Assumptions

Fostering Critical and Creative Engagement

Forming Pastoral Theologians

CHAPTER 37 Integration in Theological Education

An Understudied Idea in Practical Theology

The Integrated Self: Vocation and Professional Education in Ministry

The Context for Integration: Teaching, Curriculums, and Educational Cultures

Integrated Practitioners in the Community

PART IV: Discipline: Defining History and Context in Guild and Global Setting

Section 1: Issues, Contexts, and Perspectives

CHAPTER 38 Race and Racism

Defining Racism in the Twenty-First Century?

Practices of Repentance and Restoration

Aversive Racism and Historical Realities

Practical Theology and the Pastoral–Prophetic Dialectic

CHAPTER 39 Gender, Sexism, and Heterosexism

Methodological Innovation

Difference and Equality

Particular and General

Lesbian and Gay Practical Theologies

Queer Theory and Theology: New Ideas about Sex and Gender

CHAPTER 40 Globalization, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism


The Place(s) of Practical Theology

Interculturality in Pastoral Theology

Living with New Questions

CHAPTER 41 Economics, Class, and Classism

The Way We Were: Class Relations and Economics Prior to 2000

Why Practical Theology Is Afraid of Economics and Late to Class

Practical Theology’s Turn to Class and Economics

The Visibility of Economics and Class as Practical Theological Issues Today

Investing in the Future of Practical Theology

CHAPTER 42 Disability, Ableism, and Disablism

What Is Disability?

Disablism and Liberation

Theologies of Limits, Vulnerability, and Interdependence

Practical Theology and Disability Theology

CHAPTER 43 Religious Pluralism and Christian-Centrism

Definitions and Parameters

Intellectual and Institutional Developments

Themes and Method

Future Research and Reflection

Section 2: Global Developments

CHAPTER 44 Continental Europe

Mapping the Territory: Different Traditions in Continental Europe

The Emergence of Practical Theology as a Discipline

The Foundational Contribution of Friedrich Schleiermacher

Institutionalization of Practical Theology in the Twentieth Century

Contemporary Developments: Practical Theology as a Discipline


Interdisciplinary Relationships

The Methodology of Practical Theology

Expanding the Scope of Practical Theology

CHAPTER 45 Britain

The Historiography of Practical Theology in Britain

Academic Diversification and Development

Growing Edges

CHAPTER 46 French Canada

The Social and Religious Context

Institutional Developments

Doing Practical Theology in a Secularized, Pluralistic Context

CHAPTER 47 The United States

Pastoral Theology in Early American Theological Education

Practical Theology’s Emergence as a Curricular Area and Field of Scholarship

Practical Theology and Modernization

Practical Theology and the Critique of Modernity

Ecumenicity and Diversity in Contemporary Practical Theology

CHAPTER 48 South Africa


Institutional Infrastructure

Academic Societies and Publications

Features: Field of Study, Models, and Research Methods

Looking to the Future

CHAPTER 49 West Africa

Defining Theology: Western, African, or Gospel-Based?

Pre-Colonial Religious Traditions and Practical Theology

The Rise of Practical Theology in Colonial West Africa (1400s to mid-1950)

Practical Theology in Independent West Africa: Struggle, Peak, and Renaissance

The Great Paradigm Shift: Practical Theology in the Twenty-First Century

Practical Theology in Educational Institutions

CHAPTER 50 Brazil

Practical Theology and the Legacy of Liberation Theology

Practical Theology in Particular Contexts: Lutheran Theology

Practical Theology in the Methodist Context

Practical Theology among Evangelicals

Practical Theology in the Catholic Context


CHAPTER 51 South Korea

Current Issues: Growth versus Reform

Teaching Practical Theology in the Korean Context: Definitions


Content and Programs

Faculty Composition and Teaching Methods

Practical Theology as an Academic Discipline

Pathfinders of Practical Theology in the Korean Context

CHAPTER 52 Australia and Oceania

Theological Education: An Overview

Practical Theology “Old” and “New”

Practical Theology for the Third Millennium

The Association of Practical Theology in Oceania

Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu

Fiji, Samoa, Tonga

New Zealand/Aotearoa


Section 3: Traditions

CHAPTER 53 Mainline Protestantism

The Protestant Reformation of the Sixteenth Century

The Enlightenment

Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century North American Developments

Development of Academic Societies

Contemporary Mainline Protestant Practical Theology

Ongoing Challenges

New Challenges

CHAPTER 54 Roman Catholicism

The Liturgical Dimension

The Moral Dimension

The Spiritual Dimension

The Ecclesial Dimension

The Pastoral Dimension

The Catechetical Dimension

The Empirical Dimension

CHAPTER 55 Protestant Evangelicalism

Evangelical Identity

Evangelical Alliances

Evangelical Scholarship

CHAPTER 56 Pentecostalism

The Pentecostal and Charismatic Traditions

Starting with the Bible: Applied Theology

Starting with Tradition: Ecclesial Theology

Starting with Experience and Practice: Empirical Theology

Starting with Culture and Society: Intercultural and Liberation Theology

Assessment and Future Trajectories

Index of Subjects

Index of Names

Wiley-Blackwell Companions to Religion

The Wiley-Blackwell Companions to Religion series presents a collection of the most recent scholarship and knowledge about world religions. Each volume draws together newly commissioned essays by distinguished authors in the field, and is presented in a style which is accessible to undergraduate students, as well as scholars and the interested general reader. These volumes approach the subject in a creative and forward-thinking style, providing a forum in which leading scholars in the field can make their views and research available to a wider audience.

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Title page

To Mark, for hesed through thick and thin


To those who have inspired or who now join in the bold venture of capturing, characterizing, and transforming faith in action

Notes on Contributors

Herbert Anderson, Research Professor in Practical Theology, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, and Professor of Pastoral Theology Emeritus, Catholic Theological Union (USA)

Dale P. Andrews, Distinguished Professor of Homiletics, Social Justice, and Practical Theology, The Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion, Vanderbilt University (USA)

Paul Ballard, Emeritus Professor in Religious and Theological Studies, Cardiff University (UK)

Dorothy C. Bass, Director of the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith, Valparaiso University (USA)

Zoë Bennett, Director of Postgraduate Studies in Pastoral Theology, Anglia Ruskin University and the Cambridge Theological Federation (UK)

James M. Brandt, Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Director of Contextual Education, Saint Paul School of Theology (USA)

Lynn Bridgers, Associate Director, Masters of Theological Studies, St. Norbert College (USA)

Michael Joseph Brown, Associate Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, Candler School of Theology and Graduate Department of Religion, Emory University (USA)

Sally A. Brown, Elizabeth M. Engle Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship, Princeton Theological Seminary (USA)

Lee H. Butler, Jr., Professor of Theology and Psychology, Chicago Theological Seminary (USA)

Kathleen A. Cahalan, Professor of Theology, Saint John’s University School of Theology (USA)

Mark J. Cartledge, Senior Lecturer in Pentecostal and Charismatic Theology, Director of the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies, University of Birmingham (UK)

Emily Click, Assistant Dean for Ministry Studies and Lecturer on Ministry, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University (USA)

Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, Dean, Esperanza College, Eastern University (USA)

Pamela Cooper-White, Ben G. and Nancye Clapp Gautier Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care, and Counseling, Columbia Theological Seminary (USA)

Pamela D. Couture, Jane and Geoffrey Martin Chair of Church and Community, Emmanuel College of Victoria University, University of Toronto (Canada)

Miguel A. De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics, Iliff School of Theology (USA)

Jaco S. Dreyer, Professor of Practical Theology, University of South Africa (RSA)

Susan J. Dunlap, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology, Duke Divinity School (USA)

Edward Foley, Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality and Ordinary Professor of Liturgy and Music, Catholic Theological Union (USA)

Mary McClintock Fulkerson, Professor of Theology, Duke Divinity School, Duke University (USA)

R. Ruard Ganzevoort, Professor of Practical Theology, VU University (The Netherlands)

Elaine Graham, Grosvenor Research Professor of Practical Theology, University of Chester (UK)

Kathleen J. Greider, Professor of Practical Theology, Spiritual Care, and Counseling, Claremont School of Theology (USA)

Meerha Hahn, Professor of Religious Education and Practical Theology, Hoseo University (South Korea)

Gerard V. Hall, Associate Professor of Theology, Australian Catholic University (Australia)

Jaco Hamman, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Western Theological Seminary (USA)

Carol Lakey Hess, Associate Professor of Religious Education, Candler School of Theology and Graduate Department of Religion, Emory University (USA)

Jeanne Hoeft, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care, Saint Paul School of Theology (USA)

Michael Jinkins, President and Professor of Theology, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (USA)

Solange Lefebvre, Professeure titulaire, Faculté de théologie et de science des religions, Université de Montréal (Canada)

Robert Mager, Professor of Practical and Systematic Theology, Université Laval (Canada)

Barbara McClure, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology, The Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion, Vanderbilt University (USA)

John S. McClure, Charles G. Finney Professor of Preaching and Worship, The Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion, Vanderbilt University (USA)

Joyce Ann Mercer, Professor of Practical Theology, Virginia Theological Seminary (USA)

Gordon S. Mikoski, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Princeton Theological Seminary (USA)

Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Chair of Pastoral Theology, The Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University (USA)

Mary Clark Moschella, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Yale Divinity School (USA)

James R. Nieman, Academic Dean and Professor of Practical Theology, Hartford Seminary (USA)

Daisy N. Nwachuku, Professor of Counseling Psychology and Pastoral Counseling, Faculty of Education, University of Calabar (Nigeria)

Richard R. Osmer, Thomas W. Synott Professor of Christian Education, Princeton Theological Seminary (USA)

Evelyn L. Parker, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University (USA)

Nancy J. Ramsay, Executive Vice President, Dean, and Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care, Brite Divinity School (USA)

Don E. Saliers, Wm. R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Theology and Worship, Emeritus, Candler School of Theology and Graduate Department of Religion, Emory University (USA)

Charles J. Scalise, Professor of Church History, Fuller Theological Seminary (USA)

Christian Scharen, Assistant Professor of Worship, Luther Seminary (USA)

Hans Schilderman, Professor of Religion and Care, Radboud University (The Netherlands)

Daniel S. Schipani, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (USA)

Friedrich Schweitzer, Professor of Practical Theology, Evangelisch-theologische Fakultät, Universität Tübingen (Germany)

Melinda McGarrah Sharp, Assistant Professor of Congregational Care and Ethics, Phillips Theological Seminary (USA)

Ted A. Smith, Assistant Professor of Ethics and Society, The Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion, Vanderbilt University (USA)

Valburga Schmiedt Streck, Professor of Practical Theology and Pastoral Counseling, Escola Superior de Teologia (Brazil)

John Swinton, Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, University of Aberdeen (UK)

Jeffery L. Tribble, Sr., Assistant Professor of Ministry, Columbia Theological Seminary (USA)

Katherine Turpin, Associate Professor of Religious Education, Iliff School of Theology (USA)

Heather Walton, Senior Lecturer in Practical Theology and Director of the Centre for Literature, Theology and the Arts, University of Glasgow (UK)

Claire E. Wolfteich, Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Spiritual Formation, Boston University School of Theology (USA)