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Congregation for the Clergy
General Directory for Catechesis

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    • CHAPTER II Elements of methodology
        • Inductive and deductive method
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Inductive and deductive method


150. The communication of the faith in catechesis is an event of grace, realized in the encounter of the word of God with the experience of the person. It is expressed in sensible signs and is ultimately open to mystery. It can happen in diverse ways, not always completely known to us. With regard to the history of catechesis, there is common reference today to inductive method and deductive method. Inductive method consists of presenting facts (biblical events, liturgical acts, events in the Church's life as well as events from daily life) so as to discern the meaning these might have in divine Revelation. It is a method which has many advantages, because it conforms to the economy of Revelation. It corresponds to a profound urge of the human spirit to come to a knowledge of unintelligible things by means of visible things. It also conforms to the characteristics of knowledge of the faith, which is knowledge by means of signs. The inductive method does not exclude deductive method. Indeed it requires the deductive method which explains and describes facts by proceeding from their causes. The deductive synthesis, however, has full value, only when the inductive process is completed.(8)

151. In reference to operative means, it has another sense: one is called "kerygmatic" (descending), which begins with the proclamation of the message, expressed in the principle documents of the faith (Bible, liturgy, doctrine...) and applies it to life; the other is called "existential" (ascending), which moves from human problems and conditions and enlightens them with the word of God. By themselves, these are legitimate approaches, if all factors at play have been duly observed; the mystery of grace and human data, the understanding of faith and the process of reason.

7) DCG (1971), 72.

8) Cf. DCG (1971), 72.

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