This book is not concerned with the practice of pastoral care, on which the author has long been recognized as an authority, but with its central meaning. It addresses the question as to the conditions under which the structures of religion can become meaningful to persons, and it proposes as the basic element of an answer to that question the primacy of relationships between persons. Mutual Involvement between pastor and person is the fundamental action of pastoral caring. The author contrasts this position with those of which Thurnysen's work is representative, and shows how the latter's concept of pastoral care is unavoidable when grounded in his theological premises. The book is wisely informed, both in theology and in psychology, and makes current developments in its field accessible in a fresh way. Valuable for ministers and for lay people who wish to understand their part in the pastoral relationship.