When a pastor visits a parishioner: A Proposal for Pastoral Care Theories Beyond Crisis-Discourse

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    Is pastoral Care 'caught' in a paradigm of crisis? Time constraints on the part of pastors create a crisis-defined type of pastoral care in many parishers; parishioners often feel that they are only eligible for pastoral care when they face some kind of crisis. In the paper I challenge the discourse of 'crisis' in pastoral care practices and pastoral theories. Positively, 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 provide 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? The paper thus explores some of the hidden strengths of parish pastoral care, even when crisis permeates society as never before.


    ConferenceIAPT International Academy Practical Theology
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