Practical theology and narrative: Contours and markers
Keywords:Narrative, practical theology, experience, community, open ended
AbstractThere has been a definite turn in practical theology and theology at large in the last four decades. The inadequacies of the Enlightenment project to keep in tension the rational and non-rational traditions of interpretations, significance of the relative for universal moral appropriation, the importance of lived experiences for identity, the critical engagement of tradition and choice, and the widening gap between the finite and infinite are addressed within a narrative approach. Another voice is added to narrative approaches for the interpretation of person, the world and God. Narrative approach for meaning making of person, world and God through reasoning is embedded in experience.A common thread of narrative theology is that persons can make sense of themselves, the world and God through stories. A narrative approach to theology is much more than a bridge between interpretation and first order language. It is the process, structure, and form of interpretation and reflection of the experience, activities, and communication of the Christian community through stories. An open ended narrative approach engages critically with constants such as reason, particularity, history, community and experience.A brief overview of narrative within theology and within practical theology in particular is followed by a historical overview of the development of the use of narrative. An open ended narrative with specific characteristics makes up the main components of the article.
Once an article is published in Stellenbosch Theological Journal (STJ)extends an exclusive license agreement, where authors have copyright but license exclusive rights in their article to the Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust (PDWN Trust). The PDWN Trust is a trust fund established in 1932. In this case authors have the right to:
- Share their article in the same ways permitted to third parties under the relevant user license (together with Personal Use rights) so long as it contains the Creative Commons Attribution License, and a DOI link.
- Retain patent, trademark and other intellectual property rights (including research data).
- Proper attribution and credit for the published work.
The PDWN Trust pledges to maintain a legitimate scholarly record of the author’s work and to defend the author’s article against plagiarism and copyright infringement.
The PDWN Trust is committed to full Open Access publishing. This means that all articles published in STJ will be made freely available online. Authors maintain the right to:
- Share and self-archive their work.
- Make printed copies of their article for educational use.
- Present their article at a meeting or conference and distribute printed copies of the article
- Adapt and expand their published journal article to make it suitable for their thesis or dissertation.
- Republish the article (ensuring that the original article is cited as published in STJ).
By submitting a manuscript for publication in STJ the authors commit themselves to the fulfilment of the following legal and ethical requirements:
- That all authors involved are in agreement regarding the manuscript to be submitted for publication in STJ and allow the designated author to submit the manuscript on their behalf.
- That the contents of the manuscript do not infringe on any rules or regulations of the responsible authorities where the research was carried out.
- That the manuscript has not been published previously, in part or in whole, except as part of a published lecture or academic thesis.
- That the manuscript has not been submitted to any other journal while being considered for publication by STJ.
- That all relevant sources have been appropriately and correctly cited and that credit is given to the work or findings of others wherever it contributed to one’s own findings.
- That all figures, tables, images or large sections of text that have been published previously, is accompanied by written permission from the original copyright owner(s) to reproduce said items in the particular article in STJ. Such written permission must be submitted with the manuscript. Furthermore, all material used under copyright must be credited appropriately in the submitted manuscript.