Bridge Building : Pope Francis' Practical Theological Approach - Bob Pennington

Bridge Building

Pope Francis' Practical Theological Approach

By: Bob Pennington, Thomas Kelly

eBook | 8 January 2024

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Bridge Building invites readers to consider the practical theological value of metanoia and praxis. This requires a conversion toward social action that seeks to transform personal prejudices and political realities where social injustice is accepted as the cultural norm, specifically regarding the global ecological problem, the plight of migrants and refugees, and extreme global poverty. In this way, the paradigm of Bridge Building serves the Church by overcoming the fragmentation between some forms of theology where "an opposition between theology and pastoral ministry emerges as if they were two opposite and separate realities which have nothing to do with each other" (Pope Francis, 2015). Contrary to all previous dualism between the sacred and secular, Bridge Building seeks to end the compartmentalization of the faith that academic theology has, at times, reinforced. Thought and action must proceed together for Christians to live an integral life. Neither orthodoxy nor orthopraxy can be understood in isolation, as the deepest mysteries of the Christian life can only be "known" through action. This theological method favors accompaniment as a pastoral strategy, encounter as epistemologically necessary, and praxis as the only possibility for real conversion. Loving action is participation in the God who is found most profoundly in the crucified people of today.

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