HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
LOUW, Daniel J.. Ta splanchna: a theopaschitic approach to a hermeneutics of God's praxis. From zombie categories to passion categories in theory formation for a practical theology of the intestines. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2011, vol.67, n.3, pp. 70-83. ISSN 2072-8050.
It is argued that both the traditional clerical paradigm of an ecclesial approach and the phenomenological paradigm of an empirical approach are not sufficient enough to describe and maintain a theological methodology in practical theology. This has led to the introduction of a theopaschitic paradigm in theory formation. It is argued that the normative task of practical theology implies a philosophical-hermeneutical dimension, that is, to interpret under girding paradigms as related to meaning and being. It also implies a theological dimension; to reflect theologically on the praxis of God as an influential factor within human actions (inhabitational theology.) With reference to 'the pneumatological praxis of God', a practical theology of the intestines is proposed. Bowel categories reveal a divine intentionality (teleology) and describe a modus of God's praxis, the how of God within the vulnerability and suffering of human beings. This divine ontological mode should operate as a practical theological paradigm determining being qualities (ontic status) within human actions and processes of communication. The under girding theological presupposition is that ta splanchna [strong feeling of mercy and compassion expressed by the intestines] denotes a compassionate praxis of co-suffering (the passio Dei). Passion in practical theology emanates in parrhesia and instills a vivid hope: fides quaerens spem [faith in search of hope].