Ganzevoort & Roeland: Lived religion. The praxis of practical theology

"Lived religion. The praxis of practical theology"

R. Ruard Ganzevoort & Johan H. Roeland, International Journal of Practical Theology 18(1), 2014, 91-101.


Taking the case of ‘spiritual gardening’ as a starting point, this paper reflects on praxis as the object of practical theology. Praxis is understood as the domain of lived religion and focuses on what people do rather than on official institutionalized religious traditions. Praxis refers to fields of practices like care or community building and to the patterned configurations of action, experience, and meaning. In pluralized, secularized, and deinstitutionalized contexts, these fields should not be limited to explicitly religious or specifically Christian domains but include the broader field of spiritual and existential practices. Three practical theological perspectives in studying lived religion can be distinguished: pastoral/ecclesial theology, empirical theology, and critical theology. In all three perspectives practical theology is a form of concerned engaged scholarship.