Reforming, revisionist, refounding

Practical theology as disciplined seeing


My focus in this chapter will be on the act of looking and what exactly it might mean to perceive something. By perception I mean the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. The act of perceiving something is difficult and complex. The key point I want us to bear in mind throughout is this: the ways in which we perceive something will determine what we think we see and what we think we see will determine how we respond to that which we think we see. A primary mark of our age is uncertainty and fragility regarding our perceptions of the world. In a time when “fake news” and “alternative facts” seem to be the order of the day, it is sometimes difficult for us to know exactly what it is that we are looking at when we look out on the world and how we should properly respond to what we think we are seeing. In this Chap-ter I want to work with the delicate and complex tension between looking at something and perceiving it and to draw out some of the ways in which this tension relates to practical theology.