In Living Color: An Intercultural Approach to Pastoral Care and Counseling

In Living Color: An Intercultural Approach to Pastoral Care and Counseling

In Living Color: An Intercultural Approach to Pastoral Care and Counseling

In Living Color: An Intercultural Approach to Pastoral Care and Counseling

Synopsis

The meaning of pastoral care in modern multicultural societies is challenged and reexamined from a pluralistic, global perspective in this book. Emmanuel Lartey stresses the importance of recognizing different cultural influences on individuals in order to effectively counsel, guide and empower them. He provides a clear and concise history of pastoral care and considers its relationship to different models of counselling and spirituality.

Excerpt

Believers in many religions worship a God who created the foundation for everything – the smallest molecule, the newborn child, and the power of nature and nations. Confessing faith requires every believer to ask what God’s care for creation means in everyday life. in this book, Lartey defines care as the expression of spirituality in relation to self, others, God, and creation. For those who are Christians, such an understanding of care has universal implications for our relationship with all people, all cultures, and all religions.

However, working out the details of this ethic of care is not easy, and Lartey’s work challenges all who try to be faithful to God to do critical thinking about what we believe and how we practice care. Care always has a contested meaning in a world where religious visions compete for the loyalty of humans. Many questions arise about who is authorized to define God’s care, who is adequately trained and ordained to deliver care, and what persons deserve the care of Christian communities. We must move beyond simple, mono-cultural, and individualistic notions of care to understand the complex web of care that is expressed wherever people respond to one another with empathy, love, and justice.

Care is an issue of power, that is, the development and distribution of resources for persons who need care to live a safe and prosperous life. Lartey challenges the field of Christian pastoral care and counseling to confront its own assumptions about care. For too long, pastoral care has been defined within the intrapsychic and interpersonal life of human beings. Ignored in this understanding are the structures of political and economic power that determine the norms and context for daily life. Social justice cannot be divorced from care since a just environment provides the resources that make care possible.

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