Practical theology is still in its infancy. From modest beginnings this theological discipline has now established itself across the world. The practical theologian has the task to define the dicipline's specific nature and functions. In the process he has to be mindful of two extremes, namely, cocooning himself in mere theorising on the one hand, and indiscriminate yielding to changing and precarious practices on the other. The practical theologian is charged with the task of developing, in the process of interaction between theory and praxis, theological and practice-orientated theories. In the inaugural Hans Robert Jauss's theory of language is brought to bear on a theory of homiletic practice. The challenge faced by a homiletics that is primarily concerned with the prophetic nature of practical theology, is that of developing practice orientated theological and metatheological theories for the nineties of this century that will serve the development of theology in this time and age. The Word's spark in the cathedral must set God's world ablaze.
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