Religion Past and Present

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Pastoral Theology
(2,492 words)

[German Version]

I. Terminology

Since the 18th century, the term pastoral theology has been used for theological reflection (in an academic context) on pastoral practice. In the Catholic tradition, it is synonymous with the academic discipline of practical theology; in Protestant theology, the term – since the establishment of practical theology as a theological discipline by F.D.E. Schleiermacher – has meant only a subsidiary area or a particular style of practical theology. Since the…

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Rau, Gerhard and Schmalzle, Udo Friedrich, “Pastoral Theology”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 April 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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