Recently, I’ve written about theology of nursing to differentiate it from nursing theology. For more on this distinction, please click here and here. At this point, I’m thinking about how theology of nursing relates to Christian theology in general. Does nursing have theological content? How does theology of nursing bear resemblance to Christian theology? Can theology of nursing be broken down and categorized in the same ways as Christian theology? These are important questions to consider going forward.
Among Christian theologians, there are often said to be a number of major domains of Christian theology. I’m confident that, within each of these, there could be numerous subdivisions. Among the major domains are biblical, historical, and systematic theology, to name a few. Biblical theology considers the content of theology that can be derived directly from the Bible. Historical theology traces the development of theological ideas. Systematic theology considers how theological ideas relate to one another through the articulation of theological ideas as derived from Scripture.
I’d like to think about theology of nursing by analogy to various domains of Christian theology. In doing so, there will be innumerable questions raised. For example, given that biblical theology is derived primarily from the Bible, is there an analogous source for theology of nursing? Does tracing the history of ideas in theology of nursing proceed along the same lines as historical Christian theology? Is theology of nursing amenable to categorization in the same way as systematic Christian theology?
There is no way I could even scratch the surface of these issues in a single post. However, I do know there will be constant temptation to think and write about nursing theology instead of theology of nursing. I say this because, while writing the previous paragraph, it became clear to me that I wavered to some extent on the point of union between theology and nursing. For example, I had to ask myself whether or not I was seeking a source for theology of nursing or simply for nursing. Also, am I asking about the historical development of ideas and doctrines within theology as they relate to nursing or about the development of ideas within nursing?
As I said before, I want to view nursing from the foundation of a developed theology rather than formulate a disjointed theology that somehow pulls together various ideas in nursing. With the correct perspective in mind, I hope to contribute in a meaningful way to the field of theology of nursing, and thereby empower others to provide Christian ministry through nursing.