Original Research

Die aanwending van Rolf Zerfass se handelingswetenskaplike model in prakties-teologiese teorievorming – ’n gereformeerde perspektief

F. W. de Wet
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 40, No 1 | a333 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v40i1.333 | © 2006 F. W. de Wet | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 July 2006 | Published: 30 July 2006

About the author(s)

F. W. de Wet, Skool vir Kerkwetenskappe, Potchefstroomkampus, Noordwes-Universiteit, South Africa

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Utilising Rolf Zerfass’s operational scientific model in developing practical-theological theory – a reformed perspective
Rolf Zerfass’s operational scientific model for correcting Christian-ecclesiological praxis is frequently utilised in practical- theological research at the North-West University. At face value Zerfass’s model seems to serve as an ideal framework in guiding a practical-theological study through all the relevant methodological phases – emphasising the cycle needed to move from a problematic Christian-ecclesiological praxis to a new praxis and offering a clear vision on hermeneutical interchange between theological tradition and operational praxis; theology and social sciences. A practical-theological researcher operating from a reformed frame of reference should, however, assess to what extent Zerfass’s model could serve his/her own unique vision on points of departure and goals set for developing practical-theological theory. The context in which Zerfass’s model was developed should be taken into account. Utilisation of this model should be evaluated in its own context, by means of asking essentially critical questions like the following: Does the model guide thought development in such a way that a theocentric approach is not undermined by an anthropocentric focus? To what extent are the normative focus and life-changing power of the revelation of God in Scripture addressed in the process of hermeneutical interchange? Does a cyclical approach (continually replacing one praxis by a subsequent one) address the reformational task of Practical Theology sufficiently? Does the model’s expression of the relationship between Practical Theology and social sciences not compromise the theological quality of Practical Theology? The conclusion arrived in this article is that some essential modifications are needed when utilising Zerfass’s model from a reformed context.


Correcting Christian Eclesiological Praxis; Practical-Theological Theory-Formation; Reformationed Perspective On Zerfass’s Model; Zerfass’s Operational Scientific Model


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