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Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition [Paperback]

By Purves (Author)
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Item description for Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition by Purves...

Purves proposes a thoughtful reading of early classical texts to provide insight into contemporary pastoral work.

Publishers Description

Too often pastoral care is uninformed by historical practice and is overly influenced by psychological theory and practice, according to Andrew Purves. At least one consequence of this is that it is often disaffiliated from the church's theological heritage. Purves examines Christian writers from the past who represent the classical tradition in pastoral theology--classical in the sense that they and their texts have shaped the minds and practices of pastors in enduring ways. He reflects on texts from Gregory Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, Gregory the Great, Martin Bucer, and Richard Baxter. He includes a brief biography of each author, introduces the major themes in the writer's theology, and discusses the issues arising for pastoral work.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Pages   137
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 6.05" Height: 0.46"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2005
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  0664222412  
ISBN13  9780664222413  

Availability  137 units.
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More About Purves

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Purves has an academic affiliation as follows - Harvey Mudd College.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition?

Good read  Nov 16, 2006
This is a quality book that is practical for all students training for ministry
Clue for Clergy: Read one "old" book for every "new" book  Mar 26, 2004
Andrew Purves has given us a marvelous little book on pastoral theology. His approach is based on three assumptions. The first is that every pastor needs also to be a theologian--that is, needs to be in a reflective and prayerful dialogue with the doctrine that grounds Christian ministry. But pastoral training in recent years--and this is the second assumption--has focused so heavily on psychological theory that traditional theological underpinnings have been underemphasized. (This isn't to say that psychological training isn't good--of course it is!--but merely that the temptation is for it to overshadow anything of theological substance.) Happily, however (here's the third assumption) noncontemporary theological sources have a great deal to teach us about pastoring. Purves follows C.S. Lewis' assumption that books from the past are helpful because they challenge the frameworked assumptions that we just naturally take for granted--hence Lewis' rule-of-thumb that every reading of a new book should be complemented by the reading of an old one.

In keeping with his three assumptions, Purvis seeks to reinvigorate pastoral theology by reexamining the thought of five "traditional" theologians--Gregory Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, Gregory the Great, Martin Bucer, and Richard Baxter--who offer refreshing insights into pastoral roles, responsibilities, and identities. Purves admits that other theologians could've been selected (Luther on religious doubt, for example, or Augustine on marriage), but he thinks the five he focuses on are both representative of the tradition and instructive.

Purves' book is a wonderful combination of theory and application, and it reawakens in the reader (or at least in this reader) an appreciation of just how pertinent ancient, medieval, and early reformation theologians are to the nitty-gritty of daily pastoral care. A valuable resource, and highly recommended for every clergyperson who could use a refresher on what it means to be an ordained servant of God.


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