Seminar Practical Theology: Pastoral Theology
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleFTR-THMA103
Credits (ECTS)10
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies; Opleiding Theologie;
prof. dr. C.J.A. Sterkens
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. C.J.A. Sterkens
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
prof. dr. C.J.A. Sterkens
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
PER1-PER2  (03/09/2018 to 06/01/2019)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
Knowledge of:
  • the historical context of Friedrich Schleiermacher's On religion (1799)
  • the main thoughts and line of argument of each of the speeches in Schleiermacher's On religion;
  • the historical context of Thomas Paine's The age of reason (1794);
  • the main thoughts and line of argument of Paine's view on conventional religion, God and revelation in The age of reason;
  • and insight in major theories on religion and (lack of) cohesion, and religion and human rights.
Initial skills in:
  • qualitative interviewing and coding of interviews, by means of an example;
  • quantitative data analysis (descriptives, bivariate analysis, regression) based on existing data-sets in relation to human rights.
Detailed specifications of these general objectives can be find in the course guide.
Classical Texts and Current Research Themes

This seminar has two objectives: close reading of classical texts, and presentation and discussion of current research within the field of practical theology. (1) With regard to the reading of classical texts, we will focus on Friedrich Schleiermacher's On Religion: Speeches to its cultured despisers (1799) and Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason: Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology (1794). After a short historical introduction of the authors and the specific texts, we will go in detail through the five lectures Schleiermacher's volume contains: Apology; On the essence of religion; On self-formation for religion; On the social element in religion, or, on church and priesthood; and On the religions. We also look in detail at the first part of Paine's volume on religion. You will present (in groups) parts of the text, and propose questions for discussion in relation to today’s faith and communities of faith. (2) With regard to the presentation of ongoing research within practical theology, the course will focus on the relation between religion and human rights. Based on relevant conceptual frameworks (religion from a meaning system approach and dimensions of human rights), you are introduced in empirical-theological research into religion and human rights. You will learn to use empirical research methods based on already collected data material and will make practical exercises, especially with regard to descriptive analyses, bivariate analyses and multivariate analysis with regard to religion and human rights.
Test information
• Presentation during course (Schleiermacher)
• Paper

Required materials
Title:On Religion: Speeches to its cultured despisers. Second edition translated and edited by Richard Crouter (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy).
Author:Schleiermacher Friedrich
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Title:The Age of Reason. Being an investigation of true and fabulous theology
Author:Paine Thomas (1794)
Publisher:pdf file
A reader with further literature will be available at the start of the course.

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Seminar (reading original texts; papers) and practicum (paper presentation; data analysis)

Test weight1
Test typePaper
OpportunitiesBlock TENT2, Block TENT3