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Ed. by Graham, Elaine / Schröder, Bernd
In cooperation with Dreyer, Jaco / Forrester, Duncan / Gräb, Wilhelm / Grethlein, Christian / Junker-Kenny, Maureen / Mette, Norbert / Miller-McLemore, Bonnie / Mullino Moore, Mary Elizabeth / Nieman, James / Osmer, Richard / Schreiter, Robert / Schweitzer, Friedrich / Kwan Un, Joon / Ven, Johannes
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Most Downloaded Articles
- Moderne Frömmigkeit zwischen Zeitgeist und Zeitlosigkeit. Auf dem Weg zu einer evangelischen Theologie der Spiritualität by Schneider, Jörg
- Toward Greater Understanding of Practical Theology by Miller-McLemore, Bonnie J.
- „Jesu, meine Freude“. Zu einer theologischen und pragmatischen Hermeneutik von Text und Musik in J.S. Bachs Motette BWV 227 by Schmidt, Eckart David
- Five Misunderstandings about Practical Theology by Miller-McLemore, Bonnie J.
Pastoral Theology as the Art of Paying Attention: Widening the Horizons
Citation Information: International Journal of Practical Theology. Volume 12, Issue 2, Pages 189–210, ISSN (Online) 1612-9768, ISSN (Print) 1430-6921, DOI: 10.1515/IJPT.2008.9, January 2009
- Published Online:
Promoting the flourishing of persons and their communities is the central task and normative vision of pastoral theology. In different historical moments, pastoral theologians have placed attention on different aspects of human experience. However, effective care-giving requires attending to the full range of factors contributing to human flourishing. The purposes of this essay are two-fold. First, by highlighting attention as a primary discipline of pastoral theology, I examine four different foci of attention in the history of pastoral theology in the United States: 1) attention to one's relationship with the divine; 2) attention to a person's relationship with oneself; 3) attention to a person's relationship with other persons; and, 4) attention to a person's relationship with systems. Second, this essay recommends focusing attention on a fifth area that has not received enough attention from pastoral theologians to date: viz., persons' relationships with organizations. Organizations are the immediate contexts framing our lives, and are the places where impediments to human flourishing often are most acutely experienced. This essay argues that, since our lives are deeply structured by the values and expectations of the organizations in which we work, attention to organizational life is essential work for pastoral theologians. By this attention – especially by attending to organizations' and leaders' values – pastoral theologians can contribute to the public discussion of organizational purposes and help develop organizations that more effectively contribute to human flourishing.