Lived Theology: Understanding Its Politics, Rehabilitating Its Place

Team Members/Contributors

Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore Vanderbilt University, The Divinity School Contact Me

About this sabbatical grant for researchers

This book-length research project in practical theology explores the strife over defining theology as both a scholarly pursuit and an everyday act of paideia or love of God as a viable site for lived theology’s reclamation. It suggests that the very word theology has come into disrepair and asks how it might be rehabilitated as a lived practice and vocation for all Christians. Research proceeds through examination of the politics, aims, and epistemology of practical theological knowledge, including early efforts (e.g., Friedrich Schleiermacher and Martin Luther), prominent spokespersons in the 1960s and 1980s (e.g., Karl Rahner, Seward Hiltner, Juan Segundo, and Don Browning), and contemporary work in theology and practice. The argument considers crucial disciplinary developments, but it is not simply about restoring practical theology as a discipline. It seeks to disrupt how theology has been constructed, largely under a cognitive model of theology as sure knowledge restricted to certain select groups, and to find fresh ways to understand it through developments in practical theology. The aim is to foster richer material understandings of embodied theology so that those who practice ministry and pursue lives of Christian faith will have a greater sense of their theological vocation.

Image Title Year Type Contributor(s) Other Info
  “Cognitive Neuroscience and the Question of Theological Method” 2010 Journal Article Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore
Winter 2010, pp. 64-92
  “Also a Pastoral Theologian: In Pursuit of Dynamic Theology (Or: Meditations from a Recalcitrant Heart)” 2010 Journal Article Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore
Vol 59, no. 6 (2010):813-828
The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Practical Theology 2012 Book Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore
Christian Theology in Practice: Discovering a Discipline 2012 Book Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore