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Title: Pastoral care as spritual direction : an Eastern Orthodox pastoral theology and its implications for contemporary pastoral practice
Author: Barbu, Liviu
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 6799
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This study provides a systematic analysis of the theology underlying the pastoral practice of spiritual direction in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. It asserts that spiritual direction lies at the centre of Eastern Orthodox pastoral theology as the paradigmatic modus operandi of pastoral care, and that by attending to the theology of spiritual direction one can thereby derive a coherent account of pastoral theology. The Eastern Orthodox model of spiritual direction is contrasted with certain contemporary models of pastoral care, which, from the viewpoint of this study, present deficient pastoral theologies, inadequate ecclesiological and sacramental frameworks, and are patterned upon individualistic frames of reference. In contrast to these models, it is argued that the locus of spiritual direction should be in the church, related to the sacraments and the ecdesial koinönia. Likewise, the spiritual father ought to be an ordained minister in the church. First, I set forth a theological Trinitarian, Christological, and anthropologicalfoundation for spiritual direction. I then assess different patterns of spiritual direction in the early church-Pauline, episcopal/presbyteral, and monastic-and, finally, I propose a normative account of pastoral care based on the theology and practice of pastoral care in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, and in dialogue with contemporary models of pastoral care. The main findings of the study point to the fact that spiritual fatherhood has been at the centre of the Christian tradition of pastoral care, a fact still reflected today in the Eastern Orthodox pastoral practice of spiritual direction. The originality of the work lies in the evaluation of the theological and practical implications of both the concept of spiritual fatherhood, and of the practice of spiritual direction, for Eastern Orthodox pastoral theology in particular and for contemporary Christian pastoral theology in general.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available