Practical Theology III

Bernhard Eisel

Patoral Care with travelling Showmen

The DFG supported project “Schaustellerseelsorge – Lebenswelt und religiöse Wirklichkeitsdeutung von Menschen auf der Reise” (“Pastoral Care with travelling Showmen – Lifeworld and religious Meaning Making by itinerant People”) intends to develop a practical theology of pastoral care with travelling showmen.

Practical theology has pretty much neglected pastoral care with circus and travelling show people. The distinct constitutions of the lifeworld and religious needs of travelling showmen have not yet been methodically reflected, and they have not yet been the subject of a theoretical concept regarding pastoral care for itinerant people and their particular counselling requirements.In the centre of our project are qualitative empirical surveys that observe, describe and interpret the social structures and lived religion of travelling showmen.

An empirical study reflecting the living conditions of carnival people is important for practical theology, as well as cultural studies because the study of the relationship between religious opinions, religious practices, mobility and the significance of institutional commitment of this distinctive occupational group can serve as an example for mobile ways of living in modernized society in general.