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Practical Theology in the Public Arena:

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The Politics of Pastoral Care. Bringing to this conference ... Theology and politics. Practical theology beyond faith community boundaries in public arena ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Practical Theology in the Public Arena:


1
Practical Theologyin the Public Arena
  • A critical reflection on
  • the diversity agenda
  • Andrew Todd

2
Introduction
  • Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies
  • Working with and for chaplains
  • Education and research
  • Resources for chaplaincy
  • Articulating the significance of chaplaincy to
    wider audiences

3
The Politics of Pastoral Care
  • Bringing to this conference interests in
  • Chaplaincy at places of intersection
  • Faith, spirituality and secular organisations
  • Theology and politics
  • Practical theology beyond faith community
    boundaries in public arena
  • An observer!

4
Diversity Agenda
  • Reasons for this focus for reflection
  • Equality diversity integral to public policy
    including healthcare
  • Interwoven with the practice of
    chaplaincy-spiritual care, especially
  • With multi-faith practice
  • With primacy of spiritual care
  • Different than in local faith communities

5
Approach
  • Explore equality diversity
  • Connect with healthcare chaplaincy
  • Identify the challenge for reflection
  • Reflect theologically, drawing on the New
    Testament
  • Engage in dialogue
  • Connect back to public policy

6
Defining Terms
  • Equality Diversity Legislation
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Religion Belief
  • Sexual orientation
  • Work the family http//www.idea.gov.uk/

7
Equality and Diversity
  • Equality
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Minority groups anti-discrimination
  • Diversity
  • Recognition of difference
  • Valuing and harnessing difference

8
The Case for Diversity
  • Equal rights
  • Business case
  • Ethical argument
  • Underlying context and values
  • Globalisation key driver for change
  • Autonomy the right to be the person I am
  • Pluralism plurality as good not just fact

9
Diversity Healthcare Chaplaincy
  • Two overlapping agendas
  • Multi-faith chaplaincy
  • Equal opportunity for faith practice and support
  • Primacy of spiritual care
  • Responding to diversity
  • Reaching beyond faith
  • Spirituality as a language for diversity
    because it is person-centred

10
Diversity Healthcare Chaplaincy
  • This further gives rise to a discussion about
  • Generic chaplaincy
  • Different understandings of that term balancing
    particular cultural interests the needs of the
    individual
  • Different practices of team-working, etc.

11
Responding to Diversity
  • Questions
  • How does equality diversity policy touch your
    practice as a chaplain?
  • How do you balance the multi-faith and spiritual
    care agendas?
  • What is your understanding of generic
    chaplaincy?

12
The challenge to reflect
  • Equality Diversity provide a challenge to
    consider how we
  • Reflect on stereotyping and labelling
  • Are aware of prejudice and discrimination
  • Relate to difference
  • Bring our theology to bear

13
Areas of Diversity
  • Reflection and engagement could be with the
    individual diversity areas (Age, Disability,
    Gender, Race, Religion Belief, Sexual
    orientation, Work the Family). Important
  • Because all might relate to spiritual care
  • Because of ambivalent history of faith community
    responses

14
The Agenda Itself
  • Alternatively the Equality Diversity agenda
    itself might provide material for reflection, in
    relation to
  • Autonomy
  • Pluralism
  • Both as a particular way of engaging with
    difference

15
Connecting with Chaplaincy
  • A particular chaplain listening in the midst of
    multiple concerns as a safeguard of the patients
    autonomy
  • Mowat Swinton (2005) spiritual neutrality
    as a response to spiritual plurality
  • But what is the chaplains framework for such
    open listening?

16
Beginning to Reflect
  • A reflection from a Christian theologian, rooted
    in the New Testament
  • The starting point
  • Jesus was inclusive!
  • Jesus reached out to those who were different, or
    marginalised

17
Some Difficulties
  • The New Testament portrayal of Jesus being
    inclusive is ambiguous
  • Equality diversity thinking highlights some of
    the challenges of the texts
  • it is not right to take the childrens bread
    and throw it to the dogs Mk 7.27

18
A History of Being Different
  • This ambiguous/ambivalent portrayal should not
    be surprising
  • Maps onto the early history of the church
  • Working at including people within the community
    (especially Gentiles)
  • But also defining the community as different from
    Judaism and the Graeco-Roman world
  • Internal inclusion in the context of being a
    minority

19
Wider Framework for Listening
  • Also have to think about the wider framework for
    Jesus openness
  • Certainly encounters which did not determine the
    outcome
  • But which were nonetheless a moment of choice
    (crisis)
  • Person-centred but eschatological!

20
Wider Framework for Listening
  • The encounter with Jesus involved the offer of
    something that fitted the needs of the person but
    was demanding of them as well
  • Salvation (healing) and hope offered
  • Repentance (metanoia) and faith opened up these
    possibilities

21
Juxtaposition
  • It is worth juxtaposing
  • Autonomy
  • Spiritual neutrality
  • with
  • Salvation hope
  • Repentance faith

22
Questions
  • Question 1
  • How might the experience of being a healthcare
    chaplain, living with diversity seeking to
    respond neutrally, respecting peoples autonomy,
    provide new insight into salvation and hope,
    repentance and faith?

23
Questions
  • Question 2
  • How might New Testament concepts of salvation
    and hope, repentance and faith help us
    re-examine approaches to equality and diversity
    and the limits of autonomy and professional
    neutrality?

24
Responding Critically
  • Salvation and hope raise the questions
  • What end is in view?
  • How is the reality that is envisioned different
    from the provisionality of now?
  • Is the equality and diversity agenda about
    Rights, productivity, security or more?

25
Responding Critically
  • Repentance and faith ask the questions
  • If the end in view does promise reality in place
    of provisionality, what is the nature of the
    change that we must undergo what kind of
    metanoia is needed?
  • What is the communal and relational dimension of
    the trust implied?
  • What is the role of chaplains in this?
  • What can the chaplain hope for?

26
Questions for now
  • Such questions have an urgency
  • Since 2001 government has recognised the limits
    of autonomy and diversity
  • This is especially in response to extremism and
    violence
  • Their response is to push community cohesion and
    shared values
  • http//www.communities.gov.uk/communities/

27
Cohesion, Shared Values and Faith
  • Questions about salvation and hope, repentance
    and faith are timely
  • Clarity about shared values is elusive
  • Understanding about how cohesion happens is
    embryonic
  • And
  • Faith communities are seen as resources (and that
    includes chaplains)

28
Response
  • What now is your response to equality and
    diversity (cohesion and shared values)?
  • What is your theological response?
  • How might this shape your practice as a
    healthcare chaplain?

29
References
  • Beckford, J 2003 Social Theory and Religion
    Cambridge University Press
  • Clements, P Jones, J 2006 The Diversity
    Training Handbook 2nd ed. Kogan Page
  • McGhee, D 2008 The End of Multiculturalism?
    Terrorism, integration and human rights Open
    University

30
References
  • Mowat, H Swinton J 2005 What do Chaplains Do?
    The role of the chaplain in meeting the spiritual
    needs of patients Mowat Research
  • Wetherell, M, Lafleche, M Berkeley, R 2007
    Identity, Ethnic Diversity and Community Cohesion
    Sage
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