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A Practical Theology of the Cross

by Andrew Root

Publication Year: 2014

So argues Andrew Root, who in Christopraxis seeks to reset the entire edifice of practical theology on a new foundation. While not minimizing practical theology’s commitment to the lived and concrete, Root argues that practical theology has neglected deeper theological underpinnings, and seeks to create a practical theology that seeks to be fully post-postmodern, post-Aristotelian, and that in seeking to attend to doctrines such as divine action and justification, is properly and fully theological.

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-1

Years ago James Loder said that “practical Theology is the generative problematic of divine and human action.”1 This statement has been my own personal rudder as I’ve sought to sail the seas of practical theology. Yet, I have embarked on this project because it appears that the major approaches in the field of practical...

Part I

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1. Introduction

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pp. 3-18

There was an apple tree that sat just beyond the yard of the first house in which I grew up.1 At least in my memory, this apple tree sat right between my house and the house of Benjamin—my first friend. Its low-hanging branches served as the canvas in which my first friendship was painted. As far as I can remember...

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2. Setting the Terrain

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pp. 19-34

The forecast of religion in America remains tempered, with some spotting trends of decline and others reporting relative stability.1 But almost no one is predicting clear skies and perfectly happy days for American religion as it moves into the next decades of the twenty-first century. While sociologists and...

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3. Concrete Lived Cases of Ministerial Encounter with Divine Action

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pp. 35-52

I began chapter 1 by articulating one of my own concrete experiences with divine action. This experience and others that have followed it, I claimed, are real; God’s presence has come to me, and come to me in the most practical and lived ways. But all experience is contested. Its contested nature does not prevent...

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4. Dominant Models of Practical Theology

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pp. 53-84

The objective of this chapter is to map the field of practical theology. But maps are always of a particular place, and when you have your feet on the ground of a locale it is always helpful for the maps to be specific. When trying to get around the streets of Chicago, it is of little help to have a globe. Therefore, the...

Part II

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5. A Christopraxis Practical Theology of the Cross

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pp. 87-116

Through the appreciative critique of the four dominant models of practical theology in the last chapter, I began to articulate my own position, an approach I call a Christopraxis practical theology of the cross. The objective of this chapter will be more directly and more fully to lay out this position, leaving...

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6. Practical Theology into Nothingness

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pp. 117-146

In the last chapter I sought to describe a Christopraxis practical theology of the cross. In the next two chapters I will deepen this perspective by drilling into a number of the central themes described earlier. For instance, in this chapter I will explore how Christopraxis and its theme “from death to life” and its...

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7. The Concurring of the Divine with the Human

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pp. 147-186

The last chapter concluded by recalibrating practical theology so that it might run not on the Aristotelian framework of human actuality to possibility but rather on the biblical and theological rails of possibility through nothingness—it is possibility through nothingness that embeds my Christopraxis perspective...


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8. Critical Realism and Practical Theology

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pp. 189-242

In the last two chapters the theological lifting has been heavy. I have sought to drag practical theology onto significant theological ground, making a case for a Christopraxis practical theology of the cross. I’ve left open the critique that my discourse is more theological than social scientific, empirical, or even...

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9. Human Action

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pp. 243-270

Throughout this project I have sought to offer an “about face” to practical theology, calling it to give direct attention to the mystery of divine action as the core of its disciplinary focus on the lived and experiential. I have tried to make a case for the lived and experiential encounter of divine action as...

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10. Interdisciplinarity

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pp. 271-298

It seems fair, though possibly lacking nuance, to assert that practical theology’s revitalization in the twentieth century has much to do with the evolution of the social sciences. Practical theology was locked only in application, having no dialogue partner and no task other than applying the work of big brother...


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pp. 299-306

Index of Names and Subjects

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pp. 307-311

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781451484281
E-ISBN-10: 1451484283
Print-ISBN-13: 9781451478150
Print-ISBN-10: 1451478151

Page Count: 260
Publication Year: 2014