Pastoral theology as a branch of knowledge emerged in 1777 when Empress Maria Theresa of Austria introduced it as an obligatory university subject. The development of pastoral theology in Poland was not easy because of historical and political complications which affected both the country and the Church. However, last decades have marked much progress in this field. Nowadays, pastoral theology in Poland as one of the branches of theology is taught in nine university theological faculties and is an obligatory subject in every seminary.This creates good conditions for pastoral theologists' dialogue and cooperation as to the identity (purpose, subject and method) of the very discipline and pastoral activity of the Church. Theologians of different educational centres continue the scientific reflection of the methods of self-realization of the Church in the concrete place and time. They publish numerous books and magazines focusing on different aspects of pastoral problems. At the same time they point out new methods of pastoral activity adequate to the challenges of our time. Let us hope that these efforts effectively serve bishops who are appointed by God as true leaders of the Church and its faithful.
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