Public Theology in the face of pain and suffering: A proletarian perspective

Introduction

A basic understanding of theology is the quest for knowledge of the Divine—the study of God. But why, one may ask, undertake such an endeavour, and to what end? My simple response would be, to know God is to enhance and enrich my life and service. To know God is to understand His creation – humanity and, the created context. I practice theology to learn more about God and His creation. In the process, that knowledge serves to improve my professional practice as a spiritual care provider in a public health institution. Thus, originates the burden of this task – the implication of doing theology in a public domain. My hope is to reflect on the implications of my professional practice as a spiritual care provider engaging in theological discourse in a public health institution. I’ll attempt a discussion of the implications of public theology in a specific context – public health institution, employing a specific approach. By its nature, public theology may serve as a medium through which all the other branches of theology interact with the other disciplines and seek to promote the idea of individuals living out their spiritual values and beliefs for the good of the general public. This can be applied in any field including, educational, social, health, political, and/or religious institutions, whether public or private. Public theology may vary depending on the context and practitioners at any given time and place, but have similar goals. Before getting to how I practice theology publicly, I’ll first discuss my understanding of the term public theology.

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