Making faith-sense is a new term for an ancient practice. It is what the early Christians called mystical or wisdom theology: understanding life in the light of God's participation recorded in the Gospels, recognizing the signs of Gods presence in everyday events and shaping ones life accordingly. In Making Faith-Sense, Robert Kinast shows all who seek to unify their life experience around their belief in God how to follow that ancient practice. Drawing upon the award-winning process he has used with students for the ministry, Father Kinast explains how to make sense of family, work, and cultural experience from the perspective of Christian faith. Each chapter contains numerous real-life examples and practical guidelines that can be used privately or with a group.
Making Faith-Sense begins with a discussion of wisdom theology and its revival in modern times, highlighting "the turn to experience" that characterizes feminist, liberation, and inculturated theologies. The methods for making faith-sense embrace three main components: experience, reflection, and action. The first section describes what is meant by experience, the value of narrating it, how to analyze it, and what to pay attention to so that experience will reveal its theological meaning. The second section explains the role of reflection, its similarity to prayer, techniques for connecting experience to theological tradition, and the most useful theological resources for making faith-sense. The third section affirms the importance of putting reflection into practice, of ensuring that action flows from reflection, of planning and evaluating the effect of ones practice, and of using practice as the starting point for continuing the process of making faith-sense. Examples from work, family, and cultural life are used throughout to provide illustrations of these general points. A concluding chapter summarizes the reemergence of practical theology since the 1980s as an effort of church communities to make faith-sense of their collective lives.
Chapters are What Is Faith-Sense? How to Make Faith-Sense: Getting Started, How to Make Faith-Sense: The Heart of the Matter, and Enacting Faith-Sense: The Culmination of the Process.
Robert L. Kinast, PhD, is a pastoral theologian specializing in the field of theological reflection. Through the publications and services of the Center for Theological Reflection, Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, he contributes to the ministry training programs of many denominations in the United States and Canada. Father Kinast is the author of the Vatican II: Act II series and Let Ministry Teach, published by Liturgical Press.