Item description for Pastoral Counseling across Cultures by David W. Augsburger...
Overview "Augsburger has combined theological awareness, cultural sensitivity and a global perspective to the discipline of pastoral care. The reader cannot help but be impressed with the breadth of knowledge, the depth of insight and the scope of vision which comes to expression in this book."
In this book David Augsburger discusses the dynamics of pastoral care and counseling across cultural lines. Augsburger combines theology with global perspective and cultural sensitivity to posit an inclusive understanding of pastoral care. This book will be of great interest to pastoral counselors in both academic and practical contexts.
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Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.18" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.99" Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 1986
Publisher Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN 0664256163 ISBN13 9780664256166
Availability 0 units.
More About David W. Augsburger
David Augsburger (Ph.D., Claremont School of Theology) was professor of pastoral care and counseling at Fuller Theological Seminary (now retired). He is the author of "Caring Enough to Confront "and "Hate-work: Working through the Pain and Pleasure of Hate."
Reviews - What do customers think about Pastoral Counseling across Cultures?
Augsburger does it again! Jun 19, 2003
A phenomenally well written book. Once again, I feel swamped with information, not because of poor writing style, but because there is just so much here, with so many connections, and so intelligently written. On the level of Finnegan's Wake or the Bible in the myriad of connections.
Augsburger looks at how counseling can and should be done cross-culturally, respecting the person's culture, and yet helping them through the issues that are important to them. He describes pastoral counseling emically at one point, as something where the counselor describes up-front what he or she is about, and where their interests lie. This is an overtly Christian book, with an overtly Christian intent- but also something that non-Christians could learn a lot from.
The book then goes through many interesting turns, looking at different aspects of culture. Such as, how do you counsel a culture that is shame-based, or anxiety-based, as opposed to guilt-based (Asian, African, and American cultures respectively). Shame and anxiety are not bad, but different, and he talks in a very interesting twist about how Americans have a very undeveloped sense of shame. He looks at the interplay of the individual vs. the group- how some cultures see themselves as groups completely. How is effective counseling done to them?
I particularly salute Augsburger on two points. He pulls no punches when it comes to women, describing how they are oppressed in different ways in nearly every society, forming a culture often separate, and in nearly every society, needing empowerment and enfranchisement.
And Augsburger takes a whole chapter to look at the nature of the demonic and the supernatural, fully accepting their presence, and yet not advocating that there is a "demon under every doily". He speaks of Heibert's "excluded middle", wherein the West has a high view of God, and a morality for everyday life, but no longer believes in the interplay between the two, the supernatural. The 2/3rds world is very aware of this excluded middle, and deals with it daily. So therefore also does Augsburger. He carefully points out that not everything is demonic- indeed, most is psychological. But there are also places, and times, when one runs into and needs to deal with the demonic, and to be prepared for it. To do otherwise would be to not fully appreciate and accept the culture on it's own terms, but rather to try to impose Western etic beliefs on the other culture. Which is only further imperialism, and indeed, in the end, racism.
As someone who grew up in another culture, a kinship society, I often feel that therapy does not meet my needs. Likewise, Western therapy would say that there needs to be a healthy amount of privacy between people, when we were very public. And it seeks to empower me as an individual, when I am not, but the embodiment of a group. And it seeks to destroy my sense of shame, which is actually a healthy part of my people. I could use a therapist whose read this book. And at the same time, as I prepare to live in North Africa, this book provides much helpful advice on how to reach out therapeutically to those who are different, within 2/3rds world cultures, revealing to them their own selves, and what they desire or need to know.
I'd highly recommend Augsberger's Conflict Mediation Across Cultures, which explores many of these same themes. And B.J. Prashantham's Indian Case Studies in Therapeutic Counseling as well. B.J. uses his own experiences as an Indian therapist, relating to those within his culture or other cultures in India, providing a very emic perspective on these questions of the nature of conflict and resolution.