Symposium Ecclesiology and the Real Church: Methods and Frameworks
February 17-19 2014
The symposium will take place at NLA University College in Bergen, Norway: www.nla.no
Address: Amalie Skrams vei 3, Bergen, Norway
There has been a widespread shift towards an ecclesiology that develops out of and in relation to the ‘real’ or the ‘concrete.’ This might be read as an “empirical turn” but it is also and at the same time a realisation that a reorientation and re-envisioning of how to engage with doctrine in relation to the Church is necessary. These developments require methods and theories that move across and between traditional disciplinary boundaries. Methodologically Practical Theology in its correlationalist or hermeneutical guise has become increasingly unable to engage with formal theological disciplines, e.g. biblical theology, church history, systematic theology and Christian Ethics. In systematic and biblical theology there has been a developing consensus around the significance of culture, practice and embodiment and in religious studies qualitative methods and the turn to the lived has brought a new appreciation of the place of theology and divine encounter in the study of religious communities.
Through keynote presentations, conversations, and two special slots for Ph.D.-research and emerging research in Ecclesiology, this symposium aims to address the following key question: What method(s) for the study of the Church are appropriate and how should different sources (of knowledge) for theological reflection be prioritized and related? The symposium brings together practical theologians in dialogue with biblical theologians, church historians, systematic theologians around a constructive conversation focusing on methods for interdisciplinary work in the study of the Church. Church here is read as both communal life, faith practices, teaching and learning within gathered ecclesial communities and extended ‘folk’ ecclesial membership.
The questions explored at the symposium will include:
- Do so-called inductive and deductive approaches in theological reflection each presuppose by necessity a specific understanding of a theological philosophy of science? Or are there philosophical-scientific frameworks that would allow for and stimulate a closer interaction of empirical and theological research traditions in practical theology?
- Based on this reflection: What is the relationship between epistemology and ontology in practical theological reflection?
- What is the relationship between formal, doctrinal theology and lived theology?
- What is the relationship between human and divine action in practical theological reflection?
- What is the difference between a realist and postmodern perspective of practical: In other words, is a realist practical theology possible?
- Can practical theology be done outside an Aristotelian focus that has been paradigmatic to North American Practical Theology?
The symposium starts Monday the 17th of February at lunch (1300) and ends Wednesday the 19th of February at lunch (1130).
In addition to the group of invited keynote speakers, the symposium is open to participants who want to engage in the theme of the symposium, by talking part in the conversations. The symposium has two sessions for papers presenting and discussing the methodology of Ph.D. projects and emerging research in ecclesiology. For those wishing to present a paper in any of these sessions, the paper proposal date is November 15, 2013. The proposal/abstract should be max 200 words and be sent to email@example.com.
Price of the symposium: 1500 NOK (appr. 190 EUR and appr. 165 GBP)
The price includes participation at the symposium and all the meals listed in the programme, but no accommodation.
Travelling to Bergen and NLA:
For those of you travelling by plane, check http://www.avinor.no/en/airport/bergen/timetables for timetables.
For those of you travelling by train, check www.nsb.no for timetables.
For accommodation in Bergen:
We have an agreement with Klosterhagen hotel in Bergen for the symposium, which offer a limited number of rooms. The symposium/conference code is 7087.
For details see: www.klosterhagenhotell.no
For more information on accommodation in Bergen: http://www.visitbergen.com/en/WHERE-TO-STAY/
Keynote speakers include:
Geir Afdal (Norway)
Paul Fiddes (UK)
Harald Hegstad (Norway)
Tone Stangeland Kaufman (Norway)
Bård Eirik Hallesby Norheim (Norway)
Henk de Roest (the Netherlands)
Andrew Root (US)
John Swinton (Scotland)
Pete Ward (UK)
Clare Watkins (UK)
Welcome to Bergen!
Bård Eirik Hallesby Norheim
Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Head of Department of Theology
at NLA University College, Bergen