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CHAPTER 37. Integration in Theological Education

Kathleen A. Cahalan

Subject Religion » Christianity, Theory and Method in Religion

Key-Topics education, integration, pedagogy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444330823.2012.00038.x


Attention to integration as a process and goal of theological education is emerging in a time of profound fragmentation – socially, culturally, intellectually, and ecclesially. Religion and culture are unable to provide unifying meaning and purpose for persons and communities as they once did. There should be no surprise that theological educators are clamoring after the elusive ideal of integration as a solution for how to connect and transform the disparate parts of ministerial education into a whole. But in the midst of postmodern messengers hearkening the implausibility of unifying systems of thought and action, one wonders if integration is a throw-back to the modern promise of progress, development, and perfection through refined intellectual processes. Is integration, finally, another idealized modern construct that promises but cannot deliver? If we are going to speak meaningfully of integration we must be cognizant of the dangers lurking around the concept and the impossibility of ever gaining an integrated self, society, or church in any complete, final, and whole way. It should be obvious that such a claim is based on Christian hope that lies in a future eschatological promise that is not of our own making. We must determine a way to use the language of integration that does not grasp too tightly a method or program as the solution to fragmentation. If integration is ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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