Hi, and thanks for stopping by.

I decided to start this blog as a way to jump-start my writing in the area of Orthodox Christian practical theology.  I’ll be thinking out loud here more than presenting finished arguments.

Is there really such a thing as Orthodox practical theology? I think that the division of theology into “practical” and “systematic” is more a product of Protestant and Catholic theological education than it is a hard-and-fast categorization of theology in general. And that even within Protestant and Catholic theology, this distinction doesn’t hold.  That is, in the history of Christian theology there have also been Protestant and Catholic theologians who, I think, would also challenge this way of thinking about theology. John Wesley comes to mind on the Protestant side, and any of the contemplative theologians in the history of Catholic theology.

This division into “practical” and “systematic” serves more the interests of academic turf definition than the actual functions of theology in the church.  It also has unhappy consequences for the life of theology in the church:  it introduces a false barrier between “thinkers” and “doers.” It is largely meaningless in the history of Orthodox theology until the twentieth century and the rise of Orthodox theological education modeled on Protestant and Catholic schools of theology and seminaries.

Is it a division Orthodox theologians must accept as one price of being able to function in the context of modern theological education? No and yes.