Pastoral Theology in a Multi-Crisis Environment

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Theologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 4163

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Pedagogy, Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
Interests: homiletics; pastoral counseling; transformative theology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ecological problems are no longer just a matter of scientific forecasts. They cause crisis situations, threatening people's property and lives in different areas all over the world. Humanity had not yet recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences when Russia invaded Ukraine and created an international security crisis. It also resulted in an energy crisis which seriously threatens the economies of countries such as Slovakia.

Today, we live in a multi-crisis environment and are forced to cope with its effects on our existence.

Contributors to this Special Issue, entitled “Pastoral Theology in a Multi-Crisis Environment”, may focus on exploring the potential of pastoral theology (practiced in Christian churches) to help individuals with the multifaceted negative impacts of such a radically changing environment.

They may investigate preventive forms aimed at eliminating the occurrence of burdensome phenomena (e.g., Old Testament Joseph and his building of granaries in Egypt).

Essays may also explore effective ways of applying pastoral approaches to support coping with the negative impacts of anticipated problems—without increasing stress.

Studies that investigate the possibilities of pastoral approaches to clients whose existence is devastatingly affected by the negative effects of a multi-crisis environment are also welcome.

Contributions may (a) analyze inadequate theological approaches and point to the fact that they cause harm instead of help, (b) adapt existing theories of approaches to a new situation, or (c) create new theories based on examining instances of good practice.

Dr. Albin Masarik
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • epidemic
  • environmental disaster
  • war
  • economic crisis
  • threat
  • risk
  • loss
  • pastoral support

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 305 KiB  
Article
Attitudes toward War and Peace in the Ukrainian Evangelical Context
by Peter Penner
Religions 2024, 15(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15010024 - 22 Dec 2023
Viewed by 990
Abstract
This article employs the LIM method, complemented by publications and interviews conducted during the ongoing war in Ukraine, to explore the shifts in attitudes toward war and peace within Ukrainian evangelical communities. This shift involves a transition from a pacifist mindset previously predominant [...] Read more.
This article employs the LIM method, complemented by publications and interviews conducted during the ongoing war in Ukraine, to explore the shifts in attitudes toward war and peace within Ukrainian evangelical communities. This shift involves a transition from a pacifist mindset previously predominant among Ukrainian evangelicals to questions about their responsibility and involvement in Ukraine’s state and society amid the war that Russia has launched against Ukraine. Interviews with leaders and active church members hint at a possible alignment with Stassen’s alternative model of transformative initiatives that might provide potential guidance. While reconciliation initiatives amid the ongoing war may be premature, the article highlights the role of Christian communities in transformative peacebuilding within Ukraine. It is necessary to address tensions within Ukraine. This also entails aiding war-affected individuals, ensuring care for soldiers and civilians, and confronting power abuse and corruption. Ukraine’s unity, freedom, peace, and reconciliation must include diverse political and social groups. The article recommends that Ukrainian evangelicals embrace a contextual public theology that advocates for peace, justice, and reconciliation. Ukrainian evangelicals, while supporting soldiers engaged in active combat against Russian invaders, are also contemplating strategies for active participation in peacebuilding and post-war reconstruction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pastoral Theology in a Multi-Crisis Environment)
17 pages, 290 KiB  
Article
The Diaconal Work of Sisters Kristína and Mária Royová—An Example of the Link between Christian Anthropology and Social Work
by Peter Jusko, Albín Masarik and Ján Nvota
Religions 2024, 15(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15010009 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Considering the intermingling of problems in today’s multi-crisis environment, this text explores the possibilities of intertwining social work and pastoral care. In the search for effective approaches, we find dynamic patterns in the activities of the Royová (Roy) sisters. Their diaconal work is [...] Read more.
Considering the intermingling of problems in today’s multi-crisis environment, this text explores the possibilities of intertwining social work and pastoral care. In the search for effective approaches, we find dynamic patterns in the activities of the Royová (Roy) sisters. Their diaconal work is an important source for social work history illustrating how social work took the form of diaconal (charity) work with a rich pastoral reach at the time. Their activities represent a natural link between Christian anthropology and social work. This study mainly investigates the Christian (spiritual) basis of the social and charitable activities of the Royová sisters, the beginnings of the institutionalisation of social and charitable work in Slovakia and Serbia through the organisations founded by the Royová sisters, the Christian-social interpersonal contribution of the Roy sisters to the development of Slovak and European social work personified by their cooperation with several personalities of social and charitable work at the international, national, and local levels, and the contribution of the Roy sisters in the creation of women’s, volunteer, and international roots of social and charitable work in Slovakia and Europe. In their responses to the needs of their environment, we find significant stimuli for pastoral theology, which is supposed to respond to the needs of the multi-crisis environment of today. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pastoral Theology in a Multi-Crisis Environment)
19 pages, 333 KiB  
Article
The Roman Catholic Parish in the Face of the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis: A Case Study of St. Joseph Parish in Chorzów, Poland and Holy Spirit Parish in Kátlovce, Slovakia
by Rafał Śpiewak, Wiktor Widera, Denisa Jánošová and Tomasz Jobczyk
Religions 2023, 14(8), 1048; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14081048 - 16 Aug 2023
Viewed by 854
Abstract
Russia’s war against Ukraine as a result of the Kremlin’s aggressive policy has caused a number of catastrophic material consequences, but most dramatically, the suffering of the Ukrainian people. Millions of people at risk of death were forced to leave their previous places [...] Read more.
Russia’s war against Ukraine as a result of the Kremlin’s aggressive policy has caused a number of catastrophic material consequences, but most dramatically, the suffering of the Ukrainian people. Millions of people at risk of death were forced to leave their previous places of residence. In a short space of time, they had to make the crucial decision to leave the war-stricken country without the prospect of an exact return date. They were accompanied not only by the uncertainty of finding a safe and friendly place to survive but also by the fear of whether they would have anything to return to in the future. From the first days of the war, huge migrations began inside and outside Ukraine. This dramatic situation of an unprecedented wave of refugees in 21st-century Europe has mobilized societies and governments in many countries to provide unprecedented assistance to the citizens of Ukraine. The largest number of refugees reached Poland. In addition, a significant number went to Slovakia. This article, the result of a collaboration between Polish and Slovakian researchers, attempts to illustrate the response of Catholic Church parishioners to the influx of refugees from Ukraine using the example of the St. Joseph parish in Chorzów and the Holy Spirit parish in Kátlovce, Slovakia. The parishioners communities undertook charitable activities, and an informal aid group was immediately organized in the Polish parish. The aim of the research process carried out was, on the one hand, to identify the forms of aid implemented, its scope, and the difficulties encountered, and, on the other hand, to try to grasp the motives for involvement in helping refugees. An important aspect of the research was to verify the reactions of the parishioners in the context of the guidelines of the social teaching of the Church, especially the teaching of Pope Francis on helping migrants and refugees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pastoral Theology in a Multi-Crisis Environment)
9 pages, 242 KiB  
Article
The Book of Job and Pastoral Intervention in Crisis
by Pavel Hanes
Religions 2023, 14(6), 805; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14060805 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1168
Abstract
This article uses the Book of Job as a starting point for guidelines on how to help people traumatized by various crises find purpose and meaning in life without imposition of pre-judged solutions. Using a loose analogy between a theological discussion in the [...] Read more.
This article uses the Book of Job as a starting point for guidelines on how to help people traumatized by various crises find purpose and meaning in life without imposition of pre-judged solutions. Using a loose analogy between a theological discussion in the biblical book and the modern theories of existential psychotherapy, it makes a point of showing how both methods may fail if they are ossified into ideologies. The proposed solution is in making room for a divine intervention that is outside the scope of the pastor’s or therapist’s experience. In the Book of Job, it is Job’s personal encounter with God. Psychotherapy may use the Lacanian notion of “the Other” to open up the client towards Transcendence. In times of trauma and crisis, people are vulnerable to all sorts of emotional and spiritual abuse. That is why the call for openness towards divine intervention must be cultivated within the limits of Christian spirituality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pastoral Theology in a Multi-Crisis Environment)
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