'Ordinary theology' characterizes the reflective God-talk of the great majority of churchgoers, and others who remain largely untouched by the assumptions, concepts and arguments that academic theology takes for granted. Jeff Astley coined the phrase in his innovative study, Ordinary Theology: Looking, Listening and Learning in Theology, arguing that 'speaking statistically ordinary theology is the theology of God's Church'. A number of scholars have responded to this and related conceptualizations, exploring their theological implications. Other researchers have adopted the perspective in examining a range of Church practices and contexts of Christian discipleship, using the tools of empirical study. Ordinary theology research has proved to be key in uncovering people's everyday lay theology or ordinary dogmatics. Exploring Ordinary Theology presents fresh contributions from a wide range of authors, who address the theological, empirical and practical dimensions of this central feature of ordinary Christian existence and the life of the Church.
'This volume demonstrates how ordinary theology is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting and innovative areas in Practical Theology.' Pete Ward, King's College London, UK ’This extraordinary collection of articles Exploring Ordinary Theology is a must-read, showing the real significance of listening to what ordinary reflective Christians believe - consulting the faithful - in order to understand how diversely the tradition can be lived in and lived out.’ Terrence W. Tilley, Fordham University, USA ’I found this volume very stimulating reading for two reasons. The first is from an academic perspective: as someone who is interested in practical theological research, there was much food for critical reflection. The second is as a preacher: this book is a helpful reminder of the difference between the official teachings of the church and what many ordinary Christians and churchgoers actually believe …I would therefore commend it both to those with an academic interest in practical theology and also to any who wish to critically reflect on their own preaching.’ Anvil ’…a new collection of essays developing the idea of ordinary theology further, through empirical research and its application. For those who have not encountered ordinary theology before it is an ideal place to start. For those who have explored it for a decade there are new resources and insights.’ Journal of Adult Theological Education '… valuable volume… The twenty-one essays, divided into two parts, of almost consistent high quality and interest, provide a useful survey of and introduction to the field.' Theology 'This is a fascinating group of essays, exploring the nature and nurture of Christian belief at a local level. It is a (wake-up) call to listen carefully to the way Christian faith is articulated amongst those many of us serve and ministry.' Regent's Reviews 'Scholars and students in a variety of theological studies should find this volume very helpful.' Theologi
Theological reflection on the church’s practice is now recognised as a significant element in theological studies in the academy and seminary. Routledge's series in practical, pastoral and empirical theology seeks to foster this resurgence of interest and encourage new developments in practical and applied aspects of theology worldwide. This timely series draws together a wide range of disciplinary approaches and empirical studies to embrace contemporary developments including: the expansion of research in empirical theology, psychological theology, ministry studies, public theology, Christian education and faith development; key issues of contemporary society such as health, ethics and the environment; and more traditional areas of concern such as pastoral care and counselling.