Thursday, July 25, 2013

Let theory and practice kiss

The separation of theory from practice, the academy from the pulpit is, IMHO, a curse of modernity. Historically theology emerged from the church, from bishops, often in sermons. It grew out of the practice of ministry.

In recent centuries, theology has tended to shift into the university. It has been linked with words like ivory tower. It has tried to pretend in the importance of objectivity, that there is so neutral place by which an overview can be gained. It needs to be research active, supported by academic publishing. And so a dangerous set of either/ors have been set in play. Theory has been opposed to practice, academy to church, lecturers to ministers .. and so the story goes/

At Uniting College, one of our 5 strategic signposts is to promote scholarly and practical excellence in our living, teaching and writing. Is an attempt to get beyond the either/ors that divide us. We value both.

A conversation with a colleague yesterday resulted in the following advertisement being made:

Calling OT Preachers – Liz Boase would love to hear from ministers who regularly use the Old Testament in preaching and worship and would be interested in contributing to her Interpreting the Old Testament unit. Classes start Wednesday evenings in late July. If you have sermons and prayers or would like to find out more, please contact liz.boase at flinders dot edu dot au. This is an opportunity to help students make links between classroom and church.

A class, in which those who use the Bible regularly, are placed in conversation with students and with a PhD qualified. Which would be richer for student, for “practitioner” and for lecturer.

A moment, it seems to me, when theory and practice begin to kiss.

Posted by steve at 03:03 PM

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