Pastoral Care of the Sick and Suffering in the Evangelical Church Ordinances

Ronald K. Rittgers

in The Reformation of Suffering

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199795086
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950171 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

Pastoral Care of the Sick and Suffering in the Evangelical Church Ordinances

Show Summary Details


This chapter argues for the importance of church ordinances in the reformation of suffering, noting that Protestant pastors were required by law to possess them and also to follow their guidelines for the care of souls. The chapter observes that in comparison with similar sources in the later Middle Ages, Protestant church ordinances have a great deal to say about suffering, because the authors of the ordinances attached such great importance to changing the way their contemporaries understood and sought to cope with adversity. The chapter compares Lutheran and Reformed treatments of suffering, commenting on the importance of private confession in the former’s church ordinances and its exclusion in the latter’s. It also discusses Catholic critiques of the treatment of suffering in Lutheran church ordinances. The chapter seeks to show that Protestant reformers could try to Christianize their contemporaries through consolation as much as through discipline and control.

Keywords: church ordinances; Christianization; private confession; discipline; control

Chapter.  9567 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.