This research has a twofold interest, one theoretical in nature, the other practical. The former aims at pointing out, at least in general terms, the stage actually reached by pastoral and practical theology with its scientific and foundational backing. The latter underscores the need to have an ecclesial and pastoral action well thought out, unitary and solidly grounded, so as to do away with partial and unilateral visions as well as practices with their theoretical ideologies, the more critically inept, the more meaningless.
This work was born within an international university setting. For this reason, it has constantly focused on the theological and practical literature produced in different cultural and ecclesial contexts (especially in Europe and North America), yet always testing it and duly acknowledging its real value.
The present research-work has made the evangelical choice for “the last ones”. This choice blossomed in the land of good Pope John and it reached its maturity at the school of the charismatic experience of a pastor-educator concerned about the “poor and abandoned youth”: St. John Bosco.