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Verbum et Ecclesia

versão On-line ISSN 2074-7705
versão impressa ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.31 no.1 Pretoria  2010 



A holistic approach to pastoral care and poverty



Johan Janse van Rensburg

Researcher, Department of Practical Theology, University of the Free State, South Africa





The previous approaches to pastoral care are no longer adequate or effective for addressing the many issues related to poverty. The church has done wonderful work in terms of Christian charity. However, more needs to be done to improve the worsening situation of the poor significantly. The clear distinction between pastoral care and Christian charity is a luxury that is no longer affordable. Once we have a holistic understanding of pastoral care and counselling, we will find that we cannot possibly restrict our pastoral attention to encouraging the poor, to giving random advice and to praying. A holistic pastoral theology could lead to empowerment and should be a key concept in pastoral care with poor people and societies. The article offers a theological theory for a holistic approach and some implications of the praxis of counselling.

Keywords: holistic approach; pastoral care; pastoral models; poverty



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Johan Janse van Rensburg
Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology
University of the Free State
PO Box 339
Bloemfontein 9300
South Africa

Received: 07 Apr. 2010
Accepted: 01 Sept. 2010
Published: 05 Nov. 2010



Note: This study forms part of a larger research project, conducted for and funded by the National Research Foundation.

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