The space of practical theology at Faculdades EST in Brazil and its contribution in the Latin American theological practices


Since the nineteenth century, the churches of the Reformation have had a prominent place in Latin America. The reflection on and development of a pastoral, and later, of a contextualized practical theology has become a reality. The goal of this chapter is to study how practical theol-ogy is constituted from a practical and theoretical standpoint in one theological school, in this case the School of Theology at Faculdades EST in southern Brazil. First, it addresses how, in the beginning, the school’s emphasis was on the education of the pastors for the development of parishes. Later, this emphasis shifted to a theological praxis for peace and social justice motivated by Latin American liberation theology in the church as part of a renewed search for its identity. With the implementation of the Graduate School of Theology, the discipline of practical theol-ogy, together with its sub-disciplines, has tried to assert its own identity in critical dialogue with the demands of a changing social, cultural and political context, religious diversity and issues of gender, corporeity and research in partnership with other areas of knowledge. The publication of a compendium of practical theology at the end of the 1990s points to this new stage. The pres-ent challenge is to understand the perspectives for practical theology in this concrete space, while also considering the current situation of global and local political changes, to effectively respond to the social and ecclesiastical challenges.