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Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition…
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Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition (edition 2001)

by Andrew Purves (Author)

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1671131,891 (4.17)None
Too often pastoral care is uninformed by historical practice and is overly influenced by psychological theory and practice, according to Andrew Purves. At least one consequence of this is that it is often disaffiliated from the church's theological heritage. Purves examines Christian writers from the past who represent the classical tradition in pastoral theology--classical in the sense that they and their texts have shaped the minds and practices of pastors in enduring ways. He reflects on texts from Gregory Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, Gregory the Great, Martin Bucer, and Richard Baxter. He includes a brief biography of each author, introduces the major themes in the writer's theology, and discusses the issues arising for pastoral work.… (more)
Member:thetruedudeabides
Title:Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition
Authors:Andrew Purves (Author)
Info:Westminster John Knox Press (2001), Edition: 1, 144 pages
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Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition by Andrew Purves

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This book would be a useful text for a course in pastoral care at a mainline Protestant seminary. It's written by a mainline pastor/scholar, and its descriptions resonated with my experience of studying pastoral care in such a setting: "The modern pastoral care movement within the North American Protestant theological academy by and large revolves around psychological categories regarding human experience and symbolic interpretations about God . . . [It is] concerned largely with questions of meaning rather than truth, acceptable functioning rather than discipleship, and a concern for self-actualization and self-realization rather than salvation" (3). In response to this, Purves calls for a return to "theological realism" and to renewed study of classical texts, not assuming that their approaches can be uncritically adopted, but that they might prompt students to ask different questions.

His presentation of Nazianzen and Chrysostom didn't give me a lot of new insights for my research, but it is thorough and places them in their respective contexts. He also introduces Gregory the Great, then jumps to a little-known work of Martin Bucer's and finally Richard Baxter. ( )
  LudieGrace | Aug 10, 2020 |
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Too often pastoral care is uninformed by historical practice and is overly influenced by psychological theory and practice, according to Andrew Purves. At least one consequence of this is that it is often disaffiliated from the church's theological heritage. Purves examines Christian writers from the past who represent the classical tradition in pastoral theology--classical in the sense that they and their texts have shaped the minds and practices of pastors in enduring ways. He reflects on texts from Gregory Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, Gregory the Great, Martin Bucer, and Richard Baxter. He includes a brief biography of each author, introduces the major themes in the writer's theology, and discusses the issues arising for pastoral work.

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