Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Regulating the Empirical in Practical Theology

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

On Critical Realism, Divine Action, and the Place of the Ministerial

image of Journal of Youth and Theology

Through the exploration of youth ministry scholarship this article explores the empirical movement in practical theology. The article argues that while the empirical turn has helped practical theology better attend to the lived and concrete experience of human beings, it has also made the theological more difficult. Therefore, the first part of the article reminds the reader of how the empirical method brings distinct, and at times foreign, epistemologies into contact with the theological task. Reviewing this point, this article draws it deeper by turning to Charles Taylor, showing how the empirical methods obscure transcendence in favor of immanence. The article then constructs an approach to the empirical that might open the field to transcendence and avoid reduction. It argues for ministry itself being the motivation and shape of empirical work in practical theology, showing how ministry mediates divine action, while upholding the importance and particularities of human action.

Affiliations: 1: Carrie Olson Baalson Associate Professor of Youth and Family Ministry, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, USA,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Cameron Helen,; Duce Cathrine. Researching Practice in Ministry and Mission . London: SCM Press, 2013.
2. Hall Douglas John. Thinking the Faith . Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991.
3. Hart David Bentley. The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss . New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013.
4. Jungel Eberhard. God’s Being is in Becoming: The Trinitarian Being of God in the Theology of Karl Barth . Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001.
5. Sayer Andrew. Realism and Social Science . Los Angeles: Sage, 2000.
6. Smith Christian. What is a Person? Chicago: University of Chicago, 2010.
7. Smith James K.A. How (Not) To Be Secular. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014.
8. Swinton John,; Mowat Harriet. Practical Theology and Qualitative Research . London: SCM Press, 2006.
9. Taylor Charles. A Secular Age . Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Youth and Theology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation