Original Research - Special Collection: Trinity

Tracing the Trinity in doing practical theology

Willem J. Schoeman
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 43, No 1 | a2671 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v43i1.2671 | © 2022 Willem J. Schoeman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 August 2022 | Published: 08 November 2022

About the author(s)

Willem J. Schoeman, Department of Practical and Missional Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Tracing and reflecting on God should be an integral aspect of practical theological reflection. This article focuses on the Trinity as a way of speaking about the identity of God and how tracing it would inform doing practical theology. Practical theologians reflect in different ways on how they trace God. Using the hermeneutical process is essential in practical theology. Both Browning and Heitink explain the interaction between text and context, while Browning and Osmer opt for an ethical interpretation in engaging with the context. Root and Ward endeavour to focus more on the theological aspects of doing practical theology. Root focuses on Christopraxis and Ward on interpreting the Gospel within the current context. A discussion about the immanent Trinity and the social Trinity illustrates the complexity of tracing God in doing practical theology. The conversation needs to be taken further, by discussing three aspects – ecclesiology, hospitality and lived religion – as markers to illustrate the value of a trinitarian reflection for practical theology. Practical theology could benefit by tracing the Trinity and, in so doing, develop and enhance the theological character of the discipline.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article focuses on the implications of tracing the Trinity in practical theology. A systematic theological reflection informs the discussion and opens a dialogue between the two disciplines. The theological nature of practical theology should be strengthened, enhancing a critical dialogue with social sciences regarding, for example, hospitality and lived religion.


Keywords

practical theology; Trinity; hermeneutics; ecclesiology; hospitality; lived religion.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

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