Original Research

Pastoral care in communities under transition: Interplay between care and culture

John S. Klaasen
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 52, No 1 | a2332 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v52i1.2332 | © 2018 John S. Klaasen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 November 2017 | Published: 28 June 2018

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John S. Klaasen, Department of Religion and Theology, University of the Western Cape, South Africa

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This article contributes to pastoral care within communities under transition. It seeks to contribute to the corpus of literature that relates pastoral care with culture and, particularly, multicultural contexts. It seeks to critically engage with pastoral care approaches that has dominated three strands of pastoral care. James, Boisen and Hiltner represent modern pastoral care in the United States of America and theologies of Tillich, Hiltner and the ‘secular’ theologians of the 1960s influenced British pastoral theology. The third strand, African perspective, lacks coherency and consistency as illustrated by the Society for Intercultural Pastoral Care and Counselling (1988–2008), Pastoral Care and Counselling Today Manuscript (1991) and The African Association for Pastoral Studies and Counselling (1985). This article analysis narrative as a methodology for pastoral care.

After an overview of pastoral care and culture, different approaches of pastoral care are discussed. A narrative approach to pastoral care in changing communities is recommended as an effective means of care. The positions of the caregiver and cared for is changed within the pastoral care so that both learns from the existential experience. The narrative approach has three interrelated aspects, namely communication, community and experience.


Culture; pastoral care; narrative; community; experience; communication


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