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From Action To Lived Experience: Considering Methodological Problems Of Modern Practical Theology

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Chapter Summary

The introduction of action theory into practical theology implied a methodological shift. In the late modern era, theology combines the classical hermeneutical approach to church life and individual piety in light of traditional texts, with a focus on the analysis of actual practices in the Christian Church. Consequently, late modern practical theology, coupled with action theory, reorganized itself similar to modern sociological research. This chapter starts with exact hypotheses about the accessibility of human religious activities. It continues with testing them through operationalizing the theoretical constructs. The chapter discusses data collection about human activities in a structured way and the interpretation of that data. It concludes with an evaluation and the identification of predictable activities which effect church praxis. Based on these evaluations of action, the expectation was that practical theology would formulate practical pastoral advice which is able to reshape church praxis by maintaining the aims of the gospel.

Keywords: action theory; church praxis; human religious activities; modern practical theology



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