Conversatio Divina

Introduction to Clinical Theology

“All theology should be clinical theology.” That is the phrase Dallas Willard spoke at a conference back in the early 1990s. And it is the phrase that is inspiring the creation of the  clinical theology section of Conversatio Divina.

In this issue of our newsletter, we call your attention to a wonderful essay by Preston Hill PhD (University of St. Andrews). Preston is an assistant professor of Integrative Theology at Richmont Graduate University, and the director of the Doctor of Ministry program.

In his essay, “Therapeutic Theology: Doctrines that Catalyze Human Flourishing,” Dr. Hill makes a compelling case that, ultimately, “theology should actively be shaped by lived experience and aimed at experiences of flourishing in sacred friendship.” And he makes the bold claim that Jesus was the first therapeutic theologian.

In the second essay, “Two Sides of Psychology’s Normal Curve: Love and Fear,” Gary Moon takes inspiration from Bono’s autobiography, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, and the poet Michael Leunig, to suggest that the primary two human states are love and fear. He then discusses some of the implications of these two “notes”—so divergent that they cannot be played at the same time—to human flourishing.