n HTS : Theological Studies - 'n Praktykbenadering tot geloofsvorming vanuit die benadering van Thomas Groome en die Gestaltteorie : 'n Prakties-teologiese dialoog : original research

Volume 72 Number 3
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



The article describes the dialogue between Thomas Groome's approach to faith formation and Gestalt theory in order to develop a practice approach to faith formation. The transversal model of cross-disciplinary dialogue, developed by Wentzel van Huyssteen, is utilised to develop a practice approach to faith formation. The process of faith formation, according to Thomas Groome's Shared Christian Praxis approach, encompassing five movements, is described first. This is followed by a literature study on Gestalt theory. The philosophical roots of Gestalt theory as well as specific Gestalt concepts are explored in order to explain the process of human growth and change. Gestalt theory's paradoxical theory of change, as well as the contact cycle are utilised in order to explain the process of integration and assimilation of faith. The transversal dialogue is continued by relating the insights gained from Groome's approach and Gestalt theory. The context of missional ecclesiology, in which the researcher finds himself, is also accounted for during the dialogue. The process identifies six guidelines for the practice of faith formation. The findings of the dialogue are processed into a practice approach to faith formation. The practice approach is presented in such a way that it can be utilised in a variety of settings.

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