Since 2002 Pastoral Theology belongs to the department of Practical Theology at the University of Salzburg.
Since 1811 Pastoral Theology has been taught at the University of Salzburg. In former times its task was to train the future pastors in pastoral care. Moreover they should be able to apply their knowledge gained from the other theological disciplines in the field. In the meantime this pastoral-technical understanding of pastoral theology has been altered.
Today the focus of pastoral theological research is set on:
- the implementation of the understanding of “pastoral” as it has been coined and made obligatory by Vatican Council II
- the reflection of the whole work done in an ecclesiastical community in today’s world
- the reciprocal and critical dialogue between the Christian message and the present situation of the human beings
- This results in co operations with the human and social sciences (especially sociology and psychology)
Aims and objectives of pastoral theological teaching are:
- To sensitize the students for the real life of human beings and to make them competent in dealing with them
- To teach students knowledge but also have them make experiences. Theology has to be done from the point of view of the human being. This requires orientating yourself towards the people in your daily work; an attitude that is also applied at the university
- To foster the theological-communicative competences of the students. This should enable them to participate responsible in the social discourse and in the ecclesiastical work.