Pastoral theology


Pastoral theology

Pastoral theology is the branch of theology concerned with the practical application of theology in the pastoral context. This approach to theology seeks to give practical expression to theology. Normally viewed as an 'equipping' of ministers, practical theology is often considered to be more pragmatic than speculative, indeed, essentially a practical science. Hence its main interests are in those areas of theology which will aid the clergyman in ministry. Topics tend to include homiletics, pastoral care, sacramental theology, and ethics.

All branches of theology, whether theoretical or practical, purpose in one way or another to make priests, pastors, and others in a pastoral role "the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God" (1 Corinthians 4:1). Pastoral theology presupposes other various branches, accepts the apologetic, dogmatic, exegetic, moral, juridical, ascetical, liturgical, and other conclusions reached by the ecclesiastical student, and scientifically applies these various conclusions to the priestly ministry.

History

During the Middle Ages, there was not yet a separated and systematized science of pastoral theology. Scholasticism did not recognize this science apart from other branches of theology. Dogma and moral were so taught as to include the application of their conclusions to the care of souls. Still, even then writings of the great Doctors of the Church were at times purely pastoral; such were the "Opuscula", 17-20, of St. Thomas Aquinas; St. Bonaventure's "De sex alis seraphim", "De regimine animæ", "Confessionale"; the "Summa theologica" (Books II, III), together with the "Summa confessionalis" of St. Antoninus, Bishop of Florence. At the same time, writers on mystical theology have often entered into the domain of pastoral theology.

Not until the period of the Counter-Reformation did the science of pastoral theology take its present systematized form. During the latter half of the fifteenth century, in certain places, pastoral duties were very much neglected. By the dawn of the sixteenth century, the care of souls was to many priests and not a few bishops a lost or a never-acquired art, with the result that the laity were ready to throw off what was deemed to be a useless clerical yoke. The Council of Trent set itself to bring about a true reformation of the priesthood. Catholic bishops and theologians followed the lead of the council. The result was the treatment of the care of souls as a science by itself.

External links

* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14611a.htm "Catholic Encyclopedia" "Pastoral theology"]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pastoral Theology — • The science of the care of souls Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Pastoral Theology     Pastoral Theology     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pastoral Theology — Pastoral Pas tor*al, a. [L. pastoralis: cf. F. pastoral. See {Pastor}.] 1. Of or pertaining to shepherds; hence, relating to rural life and scenes; as, a pastoral life. [1913 Webster] 2. Relating to the care of souls, or to the pastor of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pastoral theology — the branch of theology dealing with the responsibilities of members of the clergy to the people under their care. Also called poimenics. * * * …   Universalium

  • pastoral theology —  Пастырская теология …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • pastoral theology — noun : the study of the theological bases as well as the practical implications of the professional activities of religious workers …   Useful english dictionary

  • Doctor of Pastoral Theology — The Doctor of Pastoral Theology (Abbreviated P.Th.D. for the Latin Pastoralis Theologiæ Doctor, PThD) is a theological professional degree geared to provide higher academic training to those who have already entered the pastoral ministry and who… …   Wikipedia

  • Master of Pastoral Theology — The Master of Pastoral Theology (M.P.Th.) is a degree offered at some universities, especially in Francophone regions of Canada, preparing students for the Christian ministry (generally the Roman Catholic or Anglican priesthood). It is similar in …   Wikipedia

  • Pastoral — Pas tor*al, a. [L. pastoralis: cf. F. pastoral. See {Pastor}.] 1. Of or pertaining to shepherds; hence, relating to rural life and scenes; as, a pastoral life. [1913 Webster] 2. Relating to the care of souls, or to the pastor of a church; as,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pastoral staff — Pastoral Pas tor*al, a. [L. pastoralis: cf. F. pastoral. See {Pastor}.] 1. Of or pertaining to shepherds; hence, relating to rural life and scenes; as, a pastoral life. [1913 Webster] 2. Relating to the care of souls, or to the pastor of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • theology —    Since the Second Vatican Council (1962–5), theology in Spain has evolved from the highly traditional and conservative to the pluralistic. The majority of interventions by the Spanish bishops in the Council debates showed up the poverty of… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.