In this course,students learn to explore empirically and at the same time reflect theoretically the reality of the congregational and categorial pastoral situation and of religious education in contemporary, late modern society. Special attention will be paid to the execution of a small empirical research project on a topic of the your choice and to the presentation (with the help of powerpoint) of your research. As overall purpose, it is intended that students learn, first, to observe more consciously the practices in and the functioning and evolution of the religious field and, second, to heighten their comprehension of this field thanks to the deliberate use of concepts and theories. Going back and forth between the empirical roundabouts of the pastoral and religious field on the one side and the level of analysis and theories on the other hand is thus of central importance.
Extra attention will be given to the development of general academic skills of the students, notably to the ability to explore religious phenomena on a basic level and to the ability to integrate this empirical knowledge into the scientific fields of practical theology and the social sciences. Strengthening the hermeneutical competence is also an objective. The course wants to enable the students to comprehend the manifold, concrete expressions of the Christian tradition theologically more thoroughly and to see the connections that link them to our contemporary society and culture.
The course intends to link, in a rudimentary way, the empirical and phenomenological level of fieldwork to the level of reflection and theory building in the areas of pastoral work and religious education as they are embedded in late modernity. The results of the experiences, thinking and probing by the students will be given ample attention in the seminar in the form of discussions, oral presentations and a concluding written paper.
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