Original Research

(Practical) Theology: A story of doubt and imagination

Julian C. Muller
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 44, No 1 | a2650 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v44i1.2650 | © 2023 Julian C. Muller | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 July 2022 | Published: 20 April 2023

About the author(s)

Julian C. Muller, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa and Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Religion and Theology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


Theology as a story of doubt and imagination is to be understood against the background of interdisciplinary social science and in contrast to the traditional paradigm of theology as a system of propositional certainty. The concepts of doubt and imagination are part and parcel of narrative research and can also be linked to postfoundational philosophy. The relevancy of this theological paradigm will be discussed on the basis of the following: (1) It is in touch with its own doubt, (2) It is in touch with its own story (tradition), (3) It can therefore interact with other stories, stories of hope and despair, stories of suffering, stories of power and of marginalisation, (4) It can also imagine alternative stories.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The interaction with ‘other stories’, which is one of the important outcomes of this postfoundational approach, makes it possible for theology to be a humble but important participant at the interdisciplinary conversational table.


Practical theology; postfoundational; installation art; narrative theology; autobiography.


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