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Talking About God in Practice

Theological Action Research and Practical Theology

Talking About God in Practice

Theological Action Research and Practical Theology

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Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334043638
Number of Pages: 198
Published: 30/11/2010
Width: 14 cm
Height: 21.6 cm

Talking about God in Practice details the challenges and complexities of real theological conversations with practitioners, whilst providing an example of appropriate process, and a model of theological understanding by which to negotiate these complexities fruitfully.

Drawing on, and adapting, action research methods, this process enables researchers with practitioners to access ‘implicit’ theologies, embedded within practices. The disclosure of the theology borne by practice enables a fresh and often exciting insight for all concerned, which leads to renewal of both practice and theology. 

The “Theological Action Research” process offers effective and mutually constructive ways of engaging practitioners and ‘academics’ in authentic research partnerships, contributing to the proper rootedness of theological scholarship, and to capacity building among practitioners for further, self-led research, reflection, and theologizing.



Part 1: The Problem and Emerging Responses 

1. The Problem of Talking about God in Practice 

2. Practical Theology as a Response 

3. Action Research as a Response 

Part 2:  A Fresh Response 

4. Characteristics of Theological Action Research 

Part 3:  Theological Action Research: The Process Explained 

5. What Is Theological Action Research? 

6. Who Do We Need to Be to Do Theological Action Research? 

7. Setting up Theological Action Research 

8. Doing Theological Action Research 

9. Reflection Leading to Renewed Practice and Theology 

Part 4: Worked Examples of Theological Action Research 

10. Theological Action Research in a Parish

11. Theological Action Research in a Diocese 

12. Theological Action Research with a Faith-Based Agency 

Part 5: Theological Action Research: An Initial Evaluation 

13. Evaluating Theological Action Research: Learning Points in Theology and Method


Helen Cameron, Deborah Bhatti, Catherine Duce

Dr Helen Cameron is Director of the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology at Ripon College Cuddesdon. Deborah Bhatti is a theologian and writer based in London. Catherine Duce is the ARCS Field Worker, based at Heythrop College, University of London. The Revd Dr James Sweeney is Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Theology and Head of Department of Pastoral & Social Studies, Heythrop College, University of London. Dr Clare Watkins is a theologian and writer, based in Cambridge.

"Far from being choppy, this team-based approach to theological writing has produced a clear, smooth, and approachable text. This is an excellent theological approach for researchers, church leaders, and both graduate and undergraduate students to explore, which advances earlier see-judge-act models." - The Reverend Jonathan C. Roach.

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