Robert L. KINAST: What Are They Saying About Theological Reflection.
NY: Paulist, 2000. Pp. 94. $9.95 pb. ISBN 0-8091-3968-5.
Reviewed by John P. MOSSI, S.J., Gonzaga University, SPOKANE, WA, 99258

The emergence of the term, theological reflection, is the result of several new, post-Vatican II theologies-feminist theology, Latin American liberation theology, catechetical theology, Black and Latino theology, developing country theologies, and the multiplication of diverse ministry training programs. However, what is meant by "theological reflection" can differ significantly according to the model and method of the particular theological paradigm. In other words, theological reflection, often aligned with analogous terms such as praxis theology, experiential theology, and contextual theology, needs to be carefully specified if accurately employed.

What Are They Saying About Theological Reflection, by Robert Kinast, is an excellent resource which systematically analyzes five major styles of theological reflection: ministerial, spiritual wisdom, feminist, inculturation, and practical. For each of these styles, primary theologians are selected as apt representatives of these theological schools. Emphasis is given to the three major movements that comprise theological reflection: 1) Experience. Type? Who decides? How is it chosen? 2) Faith Tradition. Which sources are used? How interpreted? How much theology must one master to do theological reflection? 3) Practical Implications for Christian Living. How is praxis implemented and evaluated? What is needed to keep the process going?

Kinast states, "This is what theological reflection seeks to do - to allow the reality of theology to come through its distinct form, namely, experience correlated with tradition for the sake of praxis. The reality of theology, which theological reflection seeks to disclose, is the presence of God in people=s experience, a presence that invites them to encounter God where they are and to participate in the divine life which is offered to them there." (p. 3).

Dr. Robert Kinast, Director of the Center for Theological Reflection, is a leading authority on theological reflection. His previous works are Let Ministry Teach: A Guide to Theological Reflection and Making Faith-Sense: Theological Reflection in Everyday Life. In this WATSA Paulist Press series, Kinast writes with nuanced clarity and theological insight. He deftly summarizes, compares, contrasts, and highlights theological reflection models previously not addressed in any comprehensive fashion. This deceivingly compact volume contains an up-to-date bibliography and an impressive listing of extensive notes complementing each of the five sets of theological reflection. I strongly recommend Theological Reflection for academic as well as ministerial settings. It will provide a more critical focus and effective outcome to one's theological praxis.

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