Practical Theology and Pierre Andre Liege

Just finished this book which has been immensely useful to my discipleship work and my related studies in Ecclesiology. I’ve scribbled a review below.
Bradbury sees that in Western Christianity it is easy for Christians to be ‘imprisoned in theological rationality.’
He presents an alternative approach from the life and work of French theologian, Pierre Andre Liege. A practical theology of lifelong Christian formation … a growing conformity to the gospel.
Liege is relatively unknown to an English audience but is one of the foremost French theologians, making a significant contribution to Vatican ll, as well as reforming thinking and practice in the French church. This book flows from Bradbury’s sense that Lieges work is a vital and practical contribution to re-imaging and enabling the individual and corporate faith life of Christians (with particular emphasis, in his exploration’ for the Anglican Church).
Bradbury uses Liege to argue that if the issue of ‘maturation and integration of praxis of faith’ is to be addressed then there has to be a focus on the creation of Christian disciples.’ Liege saw the danger that religion can drown faith. In response he suggests steps of faith to be explored, these being: conversion, justification, illumination, and penetration of the Christian Mystery.
Bradbury explores Liege’s catechetical approach to discipleship. A catechesis not of mere instruction, but of formation. The key words for Liege in this approach being, Kingdom, life, glory, grace, Parousia, witness, world, mission, mystery, and especially, ‘the word made flesh.’ His work flowed from his critique that the catechesis had become like a highway code, a handbook of what in theory you needed to know. For Liege the catechesis explores the key questions:
How do you express your life as a total commitment to Christ?
How are you engaged in a lifelong process of conversion?
Where are you a prophet to Church and world?

Bradbury’s conviction that there is much to be learnt and applied to us here and now is evident in his energy and writing. For anyone interested in the outworking of faith and the life of the church this is a stimulating and challenging read. It’s not an easy read but there is much to be challenged by, and to learn from.
(The book is available online it seems.)

4 Replies to “Practical Theology and Pierre Andre Liege”

  1. Nicholas,
    Thank you. The review was for “The Door” Newspaper hence the need to be Pithy. Really glad to have had access to your book as it will be useful for my dissertation.

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