This book is aimed at those training for ministry, those in ministry and lay people wishing to reflect upon their work. It seeks to enable those in pastoral ministry to reflect upon their institutional encounters and to enable lay people who work in institutions as professionals or managers to reflect upon their pastoral encounters.
By generating shared encounters of theological reflection between these two groups the authors identify points of solidarity and tension between them.The book seeks to address the commonly voiced concern that clergy and laity talk past each other and don't engage on the issues that they find perplexing. Readers of the book will gain an increased confidence in reflecting upon their own practice and engaging with others in theological reflection.
‘The authors of this book have provided us not only with a valuable account of the importance of theological reflection in a world where human flourishing is contested and in no way guaranteed, but also with a demonstration of the process. This is a brave move, which helpfully allows the reader to see the learning actually happening, and along the way to listen in to a fascinating account of some ‘blurred encounters’ in pastoral and public theology. Most imaginatively teasing of all is the ‘blurred encounter’ which happened in the learning process itself over the engagement with scripture.’-- Zoe Bennett, Director of Postgraduate Studies in Pastoral Theology, Cambridge Theological Federation and Anglia Ruskin University
‘Clearly and accessibly written, this book draws the reader into a privileged set of conversations between Christians from a variety of backgrounds. Much has been written about ‘theological reflection’ from the point of view of Christian ministry; here the practices of reflecting on faith and lived experience is opened up to a range of professional and organisational experiences. Such conversations are crucial for our age, in which the holding together of faith and daily life has become a task for every Christian - not just ministers. Developing these skills for all Christian people is essential for the vibrancy of Christianity into the future; this book is an invaluable help in such work.’
‘A stimulating contribution to thinking about the nature and value of theological reflection. By providing an example of theological reflection being worked out in practice, this book deepens our understanding of the reflection process. It faces the difficulties many Christians have in making effective connections between faith and practice. It addresses one of those difficulties by exploring strategies for engaging with scripture.
This study embraces the provisional and often messy nature of theological reflection and succeeds in enriching thinking about both reflection and the theme of human flourishing. All of which makes it a vital resource for anyone wanting to encourage involvement in the exciting process of theological reflection. ‘ -- Peter K. Stevenson, Principal, South Wales Baptist College
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