Book | Practicing Theology edited by Miroslav Volf and Dorothy C. Bass

9780802849311Volf, Miroslav, and Dorothy C. Bass. Practicing Theology: Beliefs and Practices in Christian Life. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2002.

The Authors

Dorothy C. Bass

Craig Dykstra

Amy Plantinga Pauw

Serene Jones

Sarah Coakley

Tammy Williams

Christine D. Pohl

Gilbert I. Bond

Nancy E. Bedford

L. Gregory Jones

Reinhard Hütter

Kathryn Tanner

Miroslav Volf

Practicing Theology P197 (1)

From the Introduction by Dorothy Bass

“Within this context, those who lead theological communities need to find ways of learning with and from people of varied views and histories while also preventing theological reflection from becoming overly abstract or distant from the messy realm where human beings dwell and where Christian life and ministry take place.”⁠1

Key components of the practices:

  1. Practices resist the separation of thinking from acting.
  2. Practices are social, belonging to groups of people across generations.
  3. Practices are rooted in the past but are also constantly adapting to changing circumstances.
  4. Practices articulate wisdom that is in the keeping of practitioners who do not think of themselves as theologians.

Miroslav Volf

“Consider one important feature of beliefs about God. It emerges as soon as one remembers that God is not an object in the world to which human beings may or may not be related in significant ways. Rather, God is the creator, redeemer, and consummator of all that is. Human beings live in a relation of inescapable dependence on God—dependence which grounds human freedom along with all other human good and is in no way incompatible with it—to which gratitude is the appropriate response.”⁠2

“Christian beliefs normatively shape Christian practices, and engaging in practices can lead to acceptance and deeper understanding of these beliefs.”⁠3

1 {Volf, 2002 #219@5}

2 {Volf, 2002 #219@252}

3 {Volf, 2002 #219@258}