The Bible and Beyond Podcast Episode

Practical Theology: Can Religion, Tradition, and Sacred Texts be ‘Practical’ in Everyday Life?

An Interview with Dr. Stephen Pattison

Dr. Stephen Pattison

Dr. Stephen Pattison

I asked Dr. Stephen Pattison, my PhD supervisor, to discuss how Practical Theology works in our lives today when we read ancient texts. He probes the relationships we establish with tradition, texts from another era, and interpretation. The point of religious faith is to engage meaningfully with the world and to become less frightened of difference. Healing work is about a bigger, better understanding of ourselves and the world.

Dr. Stephen Pattison is a practical theologian and ethicist. A retired professor from the University of Birmingham (UK), his thinking, writing, and teaching focused on the relationship between beliefs, values, and practices, both within and outside formal ‘religions.’ He was the director of the Doctor of Practical Theology programme at Birmingham, an honorary professor in medical humanities at Durham University, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners. A prolific writer, his books include such titles as Saving Face: Enfacement, Shame, Theology; Emerging Values in Health Care; and Theological Reflection (with Judith Thompson and Ross Thompson).