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Practical Theology Unit

Call for Proposals

  1. In 2019, the International Academy of Practical Theology theme was “(De) coloniality and Religious Practices: Liberating Hope," sparking deeper engagement across the global community about this important area of research and reflection for the field. At the heart of the decolonial movement is, as the IAPT organizers put it, "to elucidate and contest" political and cultural experiences, alternative economies of popular cultures and subaltern populations that have been silenced or destroyed by the conquest that transformed Europe into the center of the world." Further, it engages in "denouncing the “obscure face” of modernity with its devastating consequences in many parts of the world."
    In focusing on decoloniality, religious practices, and practical theology, we welcome papers that illumine how coloniality continues to be embedded in communal structures, practices, and cultures; experienced or ignored by individuals and communities; and resisted in fresh ways.

  2. The practical theology group seeks papers that examine notions of vulnerability and or dignity in relationship to the pressing ecological crisis. This may include ways that vulnerability (human or otherwise) precipitates the continuing degradation of the earth, or vulnerabilities resulting from the effects of climate change and/or earth violence. Likewise, we are interested in the topic of dignity and how it is enhanced, threatened, or diminished in the face of the particularities of the climate crisis.
    We seek papers that focus on the correlation between faith and ecological consciousness as well as how religious beliefs contribute to a newly, different, and more dignified behavior towards animals and the earth.

  3. What does it mean to be a pastor in the Christian church in today’s changing religious contexts? How do pastors fulfil their role in a situation where not only are individual religious affiliations in flux, but congregational and denominational institutions are likewise being required to adapt amidst shifting and contentious social, political, and religious landscapes, all of which are happening with large-scale global crises – climate change, clergy abuse scandals, nationalism, and mass migration – as the backdrop.
    In this session, we welcome papers that present empirical research that explore, study, and reflect theologically and methodologically on how pastors in different settings exercise their role in times of the changes described above. How are the spiritual and prophetic aspects of pastoral practice being re-imagined? How is the everyday ministry of the pastor taking new form?

Statement of Purpose

This Unit engages practical theology and religious practice, reflects critically on religious traditions and practices, and explores issues in particular subdisciplines of practical theology and ministry. The Unit engages this mission in five interrelated public spheres with the following goals:

For practical theology — to provide a national and international forum for discussion, communication, publication, and development of the field and its related subdisciplines
For theological and religious studies — to foster interdisciplinary critical discourse about religious practice, contextual research and teaching for ministry, and practical theological method and pedagogy
For a variety of religious traditions — to enhance inquiry in religious practice and practical theology
For academic pedagogy — to advance excellence in teaching and vocational development for faculty in divinity and seminary education generally and for graduate students preparing to teach in such settings specifically
For the general public — to promote constructive reflection on social and cultural dynamics and explore the implications of religious confession and practice.


Steering Committee Members

  • Kirsten Donskov Felter, Centre For Pastoral Education and Research
    1/1/2018 - 12/31/2023
  • Courtney T. Goto, Boston University
    1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
  • Tone Stangeland Kaufman, MF Norwegian School of Theology
    1/1/2020 - 12/31/2025
  • Marc Lavallee,
    1/1/2017 - 12/31/2022



Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members

Review Process Comments

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