Ordinary pastoral care: deconstructing the concept of 'crisis' in practical theology

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Abstract

Is pastoral care 'caught' in a paradigm of crisis? Time constraints on pastors create a crisis-defined type of pastoral care in many parishes; parishioners often feel that they are only eligible for pastoral care when they face a crisis. In this paper I challenge the discourse of 'crisis' in pastoral care practices and pastoral theories. The paper builds a case for 'regular' pastoral care in Christian communities and parishes beyond crises. Paradoxically, a time of global crisis, such as the COVID19 pandemic, helps us to develop a vision of pastoral care that moves beyond crisis. Arguments for this case are derived from the history of pastoral care and the 20th century developments towards a plurality of care approaches. Does the Christian community deliver a special context of care that provides a pastoral foundation for times of crisis and at the same time moves beyond the language of crisis? This paper explores some of the hidden strengths of parish pastoral care, even when crisis permeates society like never before.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Academy of Practical Theology Conference Series
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2023

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