In this article, I
seek to draw out connections between Benedictine spirituality and the
discipline of practical theology.  By
doing so, I hope to shed light on, and raise up for critical thought and
contemplation, a reimagining of monastic theology through the lens of the
emerging field of practical theology within Catholic theology.  Through such an approach, I wish to highlight
as central to both practical theology and monastic theology the engagement of
practical wisdom and spiritual formation within the life of a community and its
practices.  As presented here, both
practical theology and monastic theology understand theology as formative of a way
of being.  Ultimately, this comparison of practical theology and monastic
spirituality pursues the question, “How can Benedictine praxis shape
theological theory and action?”  Furthermore, such a comparison
highlights a necessary element of theological education:  formation in wisdom and education in the
practice of discernment.

I will present
first a brief description of practical theology and how this discipline
understands theology as a process of formation, and second how the Rule of
Saint Benedict provides insight for this process of formation, thereby
developing a reconception of contemporary monastic theology as a practical
theology with particular significance for theological education.

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