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Title: Political theology and the theology of pastoral care : a comparative study with special reference to Jurgen Moltmann and Seward Hiltner
Author: Purves, Andrew
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1978
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This study identifies the aspects which have to he addressed by the theology of pastoral care if it is to recognise the eschatological, socio-political, and communal aspects of the gospel. To meet this task Seward Hiltner's theology of pastoral care is examined in relation to Jurgen Moltmann's political theology. The study is divided into three parts. Part 1 is a statement of Hiltner'a theology and practice of pastoral care. After introducing the background to Hiltner's theology there is a presentation of his theology of pastoral care, where shepherding is taken as the central theological motif. The theory and practice of shepherding are then outlined, and shown to consist in pastoral counselling. Developments of Hiltner's theology by Ian F. McIntosh, James V. Iapaley, and Don S. Browning are stated. McIntosh develops the notion of two-way communication within the Body of Divinity; Irapsley shows how pastoral theology can employ dynamic ego psychology if salvation, God, and man are understood in the context of process philosophy; and Browning explains the analogical relationship between psychology and theology by building on the ontology of acceptance. Part 1 concludes with a critical discussion of Hiltner's theology of pastoral care, concentrating on theological method and the content and nature of pastoral care. Emphasis is placed on Hiltner's failure to put theological questions to pastoral psychology. Part 2 is a presentation of Moltmann's political theology. After introducing political theology and placing it in context, its theological basis in the eschatology of the cross is outlined. It is shown how the dialectical nature of Moltmann's theology reflects his attempt to hold together both the cross of Jesus and the coming Kingdom of God. The resultant eschatology of the cross is developed in relation to the doctrines of God, history and man. Moltmann's political theology is then explained in terms of the eschatology of the cross. It is shown how history is the mediating agency for Christian faith and how hermeneutics must become political hermeneutics. The statement of Moltmann's position concludes with a presentation of the tasks of liberation, discussing concepts of liberation, liberation and the church, and liberations in the world. Part 2 concludes with a critical discussion of Moltmann's political theology, stressing in particular the debate between Moltmann and the Latin American theologians of liberation. Part 3 begins with a comparative analysis of Hiltner's theology of pastoral care and Moltmann's political theology. There are three areas of concentration: theological methodology, the content of theology, and the nature of praxis. In this analysis, the extent of the divergence between the theology of pastoral care and political theology is made clear. The study concludes with a statement of the issues which must be addressed by the theology of pastoral care if it is to recognise the eschatological, sociopolitical and communal aspects of the gospel message. In the light of political theology, the theology of pastoral care has to question its operational methodology, its concentration on the individual to the exclusion of society, its allegiance to pastoral psychology and implicit alliance with liberal capitalism, its omission of the ontological nature of relationship, and its lack of contextualisation in the wider mission of the church.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available