OK, I was all brewing up a great intermezzo post with a provisional
definition of PT, then I got this anonymous comment that blew me away:
Practical theology is that
theological discipline which is concerned with the Church’s
self-actualization here and now – both that which is and that which
ought to be. That it does by means of theological illumination of the
particular situation in which the Church must release itself in all its
This practical theology is a
unique, independent science, a fundamental one in essence in spite of
its reciprocal relationship with other theological disciplines, since
its business of scientifically critical and systematic reflection is a
unique quantity and its nature is not deducible. For it is reflection
oriented towards committal.
The task of practical theology as
an original science demands a theological analysis of the particular
present situation in which the Church is to carry out the especial
self-realization appropriate to it at any given moment.
Practical theology challenges the
other theological studies to recognize the task which inheres
immanently in them, oriented to the practice of the Church; the second
demand it makes is that they should apply themselves to this task.