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Speaking Reality. Language Research And Lived Experience In Practical Theology

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Chapter Summary

The call for reality, for the richness of concrete phenomena, has broken new ground for Practical Theology. Following the rationale to save phenomena from occupying forces of conceptual grand theories and deductively performed interpretation, Practical Theology is emphasising the pivotal and primordial role of lived experience for adequately applied empirical research in religion. This chapter argues that phenomenologically inspired Practical Theology can substantially contribute to matters concerning language, and religious language in particular, because of its capacity to stir up methodically the first, reflective view onto matters. It sketches two representative infelicities in the analysis of language use as diagnosed from a theological perspective. The chapter also outlines desiderata for practical-theological language research, drawing on the core concept of retreating to the immediate experiential dimensions via lived experience.

Keywords: language research; practical theology; religious language



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