Skip to content
BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2023

Shifting concepts of pastoral care in the Christian tradition: from the past to the present to the future

From the book Complexities of Spiritual Care in Plural Societies

  • Gé Speelman


This contribution deals with the historical development of different views of pastoral care in the Western-European Protestant Christian tradition. Four dimensions of pastoral care can be distinguished: healing, sustaining, guidance and reconciliation. Each requires specific roles of pastoral care givers. In the modern context important shifts have been made in these different dimensions of pastoral care. This is due to an increasing diversity, individualization and loss of authority of the tradition. The four dimensions take shape in oneto- one meetings, where the life stories of care-receivers are connected to the large Christian narratives. In the postmodern, intercultural approach, the diversity of master narratives requires a modest, hospitable and open attitude from the care-giver. All dimensions need to be addressed in new dynamic ways that takes otherness and difference seriously.

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
Downloaded on 4.10.2023 from
Scroll to top button