77 The empirical approach in practical theology: a discussion with J A van der Ven Hennie Pieterse 1 INTRODUCTION J A van der Ven is a prominent practical theologian from Nijmegen in the Netherlands, who is widely read in the Western world. Since his visit to South Africa as a guest of the Department of Practical Theology at Unisa, his work has also been appreciated in this country. In his latest book Practical Theology: an empirical approach (Van Der Ven 1993 ) (the English version of the German edition Entwurf einer empirischen Theologie, Van Der Ven 1990), the reader is confronted with a magisterial systematic account of modern practical theological methodology. This article intends to be a discussion with Van der Ven's book, especially the fundamental thrust of it. Van der Ven's project during the past decade was to introduce a new method in theology that would stand alongside the literary, historical and systematic approaches, namely an empirical approach. In this book his purpose is to develop an empirical paradigm for practical theology from the frame of reference of empirical theology. The relevance of an empirical approach in practical theology and for all of theology is spelled out
Religion and Theology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1994
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