Mission Statement of the Department of Practical Theology

 

Image and Values

The perception of God's presence in the lives of today's people is the task of Practical Theology. On the basis of the Christian tradition, we open up new perspectives for the realisation of Christianity. We promote a diaconal option in theology.

We see plurality as a specific current challenge. As scientists, we meet this challenge through multi-perspective research and teaching.

Mission Statement

Our scientific work serves an equitable society and a living church, as well as the advancement of theology.

To ensure this, we look at practice with a theory-based approach and develop theories for practice.

In our work, we pay special attention to:

  • The reflection of social, political, economic, religious and church practice, informed by pastoral theology and religious pedagogy
  • Research and teaching in the ecumenical context
  • A biographical and life-world-oriented perspective
  • Perception of plurality and diversity (religion, culture, gender, age, "disability") and a just engagement with it

Our goal is to recognise the signs of the times in order to shape society and the Church in the sense of the vision of God’s Kingdom. In particular, we ask what role Christians play in their history with God and what they can contribute to their future.

Thematic foci

The Department of Practical Theology deals with diverse dimensions of contemporary culture and society:

  • Current social developments and their interactions with theology, the Church and education, with a special focus on people in precarious living conditions
  • Religious and ecclesial transformation processes
  • Religious development and education in a plural society in the context of globalisation
  • Didactic questions in a discourse with practical application and other subject didactics
  • Communication processes that can familiarise with being a Christian
  • Theological developments and practice of the churches in Central and Eastern Europe

We substantiate this in the following areas:
lebens.werte.schule - school development and religion; value research; subject didactics; religion in the context of migration; kerygmatic theology; religions, churches, religious communities and society in Eastern (Central) Europe; religion and spirituality; economy and religion; sacramental and parish pastoral ministry; relationship - work; religion-sensitive education.

Contributions

to research and teaching:

We focus on empirical and hermeneutical value and religious research.

We teach research-driven and cooperatively.

We are committed to inter- and intra-faculty cooperation, especially with other subject didactics and special focus areas, as well as the humanities and social sciences.

We attach great importance to an international perspective and cooperate with universities in Austria and abroad.

to the Church:

We set impulses for the (further) development of the Church by turning to multipliers and decision-makers.

We confront the Church with the reality of life of humans (GS 1).

We are involved in the education and training of Church employees.

to education:

We provide scientific impulses for the (further) development of religious education, for example in the areas of school development and religion, teacher education and adult education.

to society:

We analyse socio-economic interrelations and show the need for action.

We emphasise current and innovative topics.

We engage with taboo topics.

We keep religious questions awake.

Target Groups

Specific Contributions

We excel in publications and public appearances that are both recognised in the scientific community and accessible to a wider audience.

We offer scientific advice.

We offer our target groups the opportunity for multi-perspective critical reflection.

We promote perception and interpretation skills in religious education and pastoral theology, as well as job-related competence.

The “Lernwerkstatt” (learning workshop) as a space and didactic concept allows students and the interested public to engage in research-driven learning processes.