SUBTITLE: Reframing time by dialogue in the intergenerational pastoral process
SUMMARY: For many decades, pastoral caregiving was merely described in terms of psychological terminology. Although most helpful, caregiving implies more than merely counselling techniques and listening skills dealing mostly with the affective and cognitive dimension of our being human. Family, intergenerational, social and relational dynamics imply more than conversing, talking and verbalising. At stake, is the quality of relationships and the trustworthiness, legitimacy and authenticity of human encounters.
It is argued that human encounters should be directed by justice, ethical sensitivity and an ethos of compassionate being-with the other. It implies a new understanding of time as being present in the mode of nurturing, forgiving, reconciling and unconditional embracing of even the other as resisting opponent. In order to establish mutual trust and confidence, timing in relational issues implies sharing, coexisting and reaching out to the woundedness of the other beyond social presuppositions and stigmatising prejudices.
In this sense, Encouraging encounters could be viewed as an indispensable link in theoretical and paradigmatic reflection on true dialogue as an essential feature of pastoral caregiving. It contributes to academic discourses in the discipline of clinical pastoral care as well as to the pastoral ministry. Its aim is the fostering of hope, comfort, healing and the resilient courage of bouncing back despite painful setbacks in life. To capture the core argument in Encouraging encounters, we can use the words of Thomas Mann in his novel Joseph and his brothers: “The essence of life is presentness.”
Chapter 1: Dialogue
Chapter 2: The art of commitment: The availability of ‘Here I am’ (Hinéni)
Chapter 3: Loyalty
Chapter 4: Giving and receiving
Chapter 5: Towards mature dialoguing: The basic aspects of timing and asymmetry
Chapter 6: Multi-directed partiality: The quest for inclusiveness
Chapter 7: Relational ethics in “Honour your father and your mother”
Chapter 8: Legacy: The ethical imperative in multi-directed partiality
Chapter 9: Injustice and evil: The interplay between perpetrator and victim
Chapter 10: Reframing time: Guilt, forgiveness, exoneration
AUTHOR: After studying theology at the Protestant University of Brussels and the University of Amsterdam, Nel van Doorn became a minister. Her special interest is exegesis and pastoral care, and in particular the combination of these two. Nel also followed the postgraduate study “Contextual therapeutic pastoral care”, of which she was a teacher and supervisor. Fifteen years ago she started with courses in South Africa focussed on the ethical dynamics of relationships and how the seeking for trust is embedded in the importance of dialogue. For several years she has been intensively involved in the MTh degree, with a special focus on contextual pastoral care and counselling at the Practical Theology & Missiology Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University. Nel wishes that this book will be a valuable source for students, junior and senior professionals in pastoral care and spiritual relational guidance. Nel van Doorn is an emeritus pastor and is living close to the seaside in the 800-year-old town Middelburg in the Netherlands.