The Pastoral care as point of encounter between Orthodoxy and Modernity

  1. Lemma
  2. Ἡ Ποιμαντική ὡς σημεῖο συνάντησης τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας μέ τή Νεωτερικότητα
  3. Greek, Modern (1453-)
  4. Delli, Eudoxie
  5. Complementarity - Orthodox Anthropology - Scientific theories and disciplines > Psychology-Psychoanalysis - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Premodern _modern_ postmodern
  6. Τhermos, (Protopresbyter) Vasileios [Author]. The Pastoral care as point of encounter between Orthodoxy and Modernity
  7. Θεολογία
  8. patristic tradition - psychotherapy and religion - Pastoral Theology - Staniloae, Dumitru
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    1. <p style="text-align: justify;">Thermos, (Protopresbyter) V. [Θερμός, (Πρωτοπρεσβύτερος) Β.] (2010). Ἡ Ποιμαντική ὡς σημεῖο συνάντησης τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας μέ τή Νεωτερικότητα, <em>Θεολογία</em>, <em>2</em>, 37-51.</p>
    1. According to the author, the soteriological dimension of Pastoral theology and guidance goes back to the biblical and patristic tradition. Modern Greek theologians of Pastoral theology have renewed its timeless content with contemporary terms of our time and reconnect it with the missionary dimension of the Church.

      The advent of Modernity introduced the concept of ‘individuality’ in the heart of Western societies, together with an increase interest in the understanding of human mind, desires, emotions and sentiments. The encounter between Religion and Modernity in West, taking divergent forms from polemics to dialogue, had permanently influenced and reformed Pastoral theology.

      Fr Vasileios Thermos notes that the Catholic and Protestant Pastoral theologies were the first to deal with the data of modern human sciences. Especially psychology, focusing on the Knowledge of the entire Man, has liberated Western Pastoral Psychology from its moralistic and legalistic character, giving priority to the anthropological conditions of spiritual life. Nevertheless, the reception and assimilation of secular knowledge within Western Pastoral theology have produced a certain spiritual ‘discoloration’, which had led to the enfeeblement of some central spiritual notions, and even to the contestation of its Christian identity. Only recently Western Christianity reintroduced theological criteria in its pastoral practice.

      The necessity of a renewal of Pastoral Theology and Care reached also Orthodox societies to the extent that they have adopted too, more or less, the Western way of living, together with its real problems. By the mediation of human sciences and psychology, topics and issues of anthropological interest integrated in Orthodox Pastoral theology, opening the latter to the Modernity and the related needs of the contemporary society. The care of the ‘fold’, situated in the center of pastoral preoccupations, requires a solid anthropological and psychological practical knowledge.

      Fr Vasileios Thermos underlines the fact that the reception of psychological theories and data in Pastoral Theology is a complex and creative process that demands theological sensibility and self-reflection, as well as hermeneutical virtuosity in order to reanimate in modern terms the model of the ‘Patristic Man’. The article closes with a passage drawn from Father D. Staniloae reminding the creative mission of Orthodox theology as a triple responsibility towards the Revelation, the modern world and the future, calling to go further beyond inflexibility, sterility and fixation to the past.