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Oct302011

Patton, Blackwell Reader in Pastoral, Practical Theology

Patton-Blackwell-Reader-in-Pastoral Amazon.com

John Patton, James Woodward, and Stephen Pattison, Editors, The Blackwell Reader in Pastoral and Practical Theology (Blackwell Readings in Modern Theology). Wiley-Blackwell, 2000.

Referenced in: Pastoral Theology

LifeandLeadership.com Summary

This is an excellent volume for those whose readings in both pastoral and practical theology create an appetite to understand the breadth of the field. It also includes articles that serve as reflective pieces on specific ministerial issues. It is divided into sections that cover the history, approaches/methods, integration of theory and practice, and evaluations of pastoral and practical theology. The authors come from diverse backgrounds, with emphasis of Anglicans and Presbyterians. This summary highlights some of the strong features.

  1. It begins with an essay, “An Introduction to Pastoral and Practical Theology,” which is a good brief overview of the discipline.
  2. It includes a few classic articles as well as newer treatises by leading authors in the field. Here are a few that I found especially enlightening:
    • Seward Hiltner, “The Meaning and Importance of Pastoral Theology”
    • Don Browning, “Pastoral Theology in a Pluralistic Age”
    • Stephen Pattison, “Some Straw for the Bricks: A Basic Introduction to Theological Reflection”
    • Almost the entire Part Three includes articles on the relationship between pastoral theology and liberation theology, political theory, ecclesiology, Christian morality, spirituality in postmodernity, and management.
  3. It provides a very extensive bibliography and index of subjects.

See the review by Beliefnet as posted on the Amazon page for this book.

From the Publisher

This Reader presents an overview of the field of pastoral and practical theology within a theoretical framework, engaging with practical theologies from both sides of the Atlantic.

The volume brings together six classic articles that might otherwise be difficult to locate, with seventeen newly commissioned articles from leader authors internationally. The selection of articles has been informed by thorough consultation with teachers of pastoral theology worldwide. Editorial comment on the readings helps readers to understand the context of the material.

A comprehensive introductory section provides a critical overview of contemporary practical theology Subsequent articles place pastoral theology in historical perspective, outline the main methods and approaches used within the field and discuss many of the issues pertinent to the discipline. The volume concludes with articles on evaluating practical theology and pastoral care. A comprehensive bibliography and subject index complete what will be an original and indispensable resources for students and practitioners in this burgeoning field.

About the Authors

The Revd Dr James Woodward is Master of the Foundation of Lady Katherine Leveson, Temple Balsall, and is the Bishop’s Advisor for Health and Social Care in the Diocese of Birmingham.

Dr Stephen Pattison is currently Senior Research Fellow in Pastoral Theology, University of Wales, Cardiff.

John Patton is Professor of Theology at Columbia Theological Seminary, Georgia.


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