The academic work at the Chair of Pastoral Theology and Homiletics at the University of Regensburg is committed to the pastoral concept of the Second Vatican Council.
In the understanding of the council pastoral ministry is the practice by which the Church, on the basis of the Gospel, allows itself to be involved in the relational events between God and His creation and among human beings in a life-affirming way and is particularly active in those places where this life, peace in human society and the integrity of the world of creation are endangered (LG 1 in connection with GS 1-4).
Pastoral care, in other words, is the totality of church action, insofar as it contrasts the concrete reality of experience and action in the world today with the Gospel. The reality of our time and the people living in it is a constitutive element in the self-understanding of the church. Pastoral theology is therefore responsible for two factors: people's lives with their highs and lows and everything in between, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the living tradition of the Church.
It is the task of pastoral theology and its potential to bring doctrine and life, the gospel and the practice of people into resonance with each other in solidarity and to accompany processes of transformation in church and society critically and constructively.
Therefore its theological characteristics as well as the social realities are constitutive elements of its academic reflection, i.e. Pastoral theology is founded both in the pastorality grounded in the Gospel (diaconal, political, healing...) and the plural realities of life. What the Gospel means for the humane shaping of life or how the church can act in a gospel-compliant and life-promoting way in a fragile, hyper-complex and increasingly overwhelming time are central questions of pastoral theological research.
Prof.in Dr. Ute Leimgruber
Glass window by Sigmar Polke, Großmünster Zürich
Photo (c) Ute Leimgruber
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