Definition of Homiletics in English

The homiletics, as a theology, is the discursive genre by which religious preaching is done . As such, homiletics designates, at the same time, the art of preaching and the discipline that is responsible for its study.

The word, as such, comes from the Greek homiletikos, which means ‘meeting’, ‘conversation’.

In this sense, homiletics is a dissertation through which it is explained, applying the general principles of rhetoric, a specific religious doctrine, mainly Christian.

According to the Bible, preaching or homiletic sermon was the main form used by Christ to communicate the faith during his earthly ministry, which would be followed by the apostles to convey to others the general principles of religion.

There are two fundamental types of homiletics, depending on your intentions. On the one hand there is the ministry, which is that it is addressed to believers, and on the other is the magisterium, which is the one that addresses non-believers in the faith of Christ.

As a discipline of study, homiletics deals with the composition, elaboration and appropriate contents for the correct preaching of the sermon. Three elements, as such, stand out for their composition: the choice of a theme, a structure and a style. The themes, in Catholic doctrine, generally, deal with faith and customs; the classical structure, on the other hand, used to be the reading of a passage for its interpretation and explanation according to its doctrinal points; and the style that could be a simulated dialogue between an imaginary subject, in the manner of a debate.

The purpose of homiletics is to offer priests the discursive tools to transmit, through word, Christian dogma and morals in a more effective way.

Catholic Homiletics

For Catholicism, the main discourse of homiletics is the homily, which is a solemn sermon that forms, together with the mass, a whole. As such, only the priest is authorized to impart it, since homiletics are part of his studies.

Evangelical homiletics

Evangelical homiletics are characterized by greater freedoms in preaching than Catholic. It can be presented by both the pastor and any other member of the congregation. In this sense, unlike the Catholic, it does not require ordination. In addition, it can be adapted to various modern formats, such as conferences, talks or symposia.