Ascetical theology is the organized study or presentation of spiritual teachings found in Christian Scripture and the Church Fathers that help the faithful to more perfectly follow Christ and attain to Christian perfection. The word ascetic is from the Greek word ἄσκησις askesis, meaning practice. The English term ascesis means "the practice of self-discipline". Christian asceticism is commonly thought to imply self-denial for a spiritual purpose. The term ascetical theology is used primarily in Catholic theology; the Eastern Orthodox use distinct terms (see below) and other religious traditions conceive of following Christ or God differently from either Catholics or Eastern Orthodox (see below).
Read more about Ascetical Theology: Who Is Christ, and What Reason Is Given For Following, Essential Concepts in Ascetical Theology, Catholic Encyclopaedia Article
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... period up to the 12th century exhibits no specially noteworthy advance in ascetical literature ... But when in the 12th century speculative theology was celebrating its triumphs, mystical and ascetical theology too showed a healthy activity ... morality on a scientific basis and throwing ascetical theology itself into a scientific form ...
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“A theology whose god is a metaphor is wasting its time.”
—Mason Cooley (b. 1927)