THE MORAL CONTEXT OF PASTORAL CARE by Don S. Browning

THE MORAL CONTEXT OF PASTORAL CARE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Rather in the spirit of the recent Hartford Appeal, this forceful, rigorously theoretical position paper, confronting the Protestant churches' drift to a normless, privatized ministry, should raise a storm among pastoral professionals. Professor Browning (religion and psychology, Chicago) argues that pastoral care has increasingly neglected its religious and societal duty to articulate normative values and meanings. Cut off from its ethical roots and lacking the will to provide strong spiritual leadership, the helping ministry has degenerated into individual counseling, oblivious of its actual (secular) or proper (moral and religious) context. Ministers have become soft-core purveyors of secular therapies, with little discriminating concern for how these quasi religions (psychoanalysis, TA, Jungianism, etc.) fit Christian goals and ideals. Browning's contention: the churches must recover their own Judeo-Christian heritage with its healthy balance between structure and freedom, practical, inner-worldly morality and otherworldly sense of the in-breaking of God's Kingdom. An important case for an authentically Christian ""Protestant ethic,"" but its drab style, logical abstractness, and parochial focus limit its role to in-house debate.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1976
Publisher: Westminster