Chapter

Pastoral theology in healthcare settings: blessed irritant for holistic human care

Emmanuel Y. Lartey

in Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199571390
Published online August 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199665037 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199571390.003.0041

Series: Oxford Textbook in Public Health

Pastoral theology in healthcare settings: blessed irritant for holistic human care

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Pastoral theologians, when they function in true integrity with their discipline and calling, will probably be a source of irritation to a healthcare enterprise that focuses narrowly on individualized bioethics. Pastoral theology will irritate those who would annex the language and practice of spirituality and spiritual care into the service of a healthcare delivery system that is more about illness than about health. Pastoral theologians might risk being charged with being out of touch with financial realities for calling for greater equity in the distribution of resources and social justice in seeking to uplift under-resourced groups. Pastoral theologians will be a source of irritation in healthcare systems that refuse to constantly review policies and practices to ensure that power is being utilized for the wellbeing of all. Pastoral theology when it functions best within healthcare settings serves as a ‘blessed’ irritation within corporate and institutional systems to nudge them in the direction of holistic human care.

Chapter.  4422 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Palliative Medicine

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