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

Pastoral theology in healthcare settings: blessed irritant for holistic human care
Chapter:
Pastoral theology in healthcare settings: blessed irritant for holistic human care
Author(s):

Emmanuel Y. Lartey

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199571390.003.0041
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date: 18 December 2017

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.

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