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Title: From adversity to altruism and beyond : a pastoral theology of resilience
Author: Allain Chapman, Justine
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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The focus of this research is the experience of being strengthened in adversity, that is, the process of resilience. The context is Christian pastoral care with the research addressing questions of how Christian pastors can help others develop resilience and can be strengthened in pastoral ministry themselves. The multidisciplinary psychosocial science research into resilience is the first dialogue partner. Themes of struggle, the self, and relationships emerge as key components of the process of resilience, which is also characterized by a progression from adversity to altruism. These themes from resilience literature are brought into conversation with the biblical tradition of the desert where the landscape and metaphor of the desert point to three movements of a resilience process: embracing the desert, the encounter with the self and God and altruism expressed in pastoral responsibility. Christian texts emerge from the desert Christians of the fourth and fifth centuries: the Alphabetical Sayings attend to the need to embrace the adversity of the desert while the Institutes and Conferences of John Cassian provide a programme whereby the ascetical struggle involves encountering the self and God and is lived out by altruism and the responsibility of being an elder. The Christian theologian and pastor, Rowan Williams, addresses the themes of struggle, self, and relationships in such a way as to meet the challenges made to Christian theology because of the traditional focus on obedience, humility and self‐denial. By a process of creating space in relationships the mature Christian acts altruistically. The widely used myth and model of the wounded healer reveals how the pastoral relationship itself goes beyond altruism by enabling healing and growth not only for those in adversity, but also for the pastor. By drawing on the research as a whole I propose a more sustainable model for pastoral ministry: the resilient pastor.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available