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Performing Pastoral Care

Making the case for the relevance of pastoral care today, this book explores the role of pastoral care through the prism of music. Using musical analogies, the author provides a new way of understanding and practising pastoral care, grounded in practical theology. Challenging overemphasis on mission, he shows that pastoral care remains essential to the life of the church, especially when engaging with extreme situations such as dying, suffering or war, and considers the role of pastoral carers in the specific pastoral encounter and in the life of the church in general.
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Table of Contents

Introduction. Part I. The tradition and practice of pastoral care (of prisons and healthcare). 1. Listening to the voice of historical experience - Reflection upon received tradition: Surviving the darkness of imprisonment. 2. Listening to the voice of clinical experience - Reflection upon contemporary experience: Surviving the darkness of hospitalisation. Part II. The tradition and practice of classical music (of war and peace) an interdisciplinary dialogue. 3. Listening to the voice of historical experience - Reflection upon received tradition: Classical music born out of war and social fragmentation. 4. Listening to the voice of pastoral experience (1) - Reflection upon contemporary experience: Classical music as a means of discerning sameness and difference. 5. Listening to the voice of pastoral experience (2) - Reflection upon participation and interpretation: Classical music as a vehicle for theoretical and practical transformation. Part III. The tradition and practice of pastoral care (of melody and harmony) - theoretical and practical transformation. 6. Reclaiming and Proclaiming Pastoral Care afresh - Surviving the danger of obliteration: Singing the praises of pastoral care in a mission focused environment. Conclusion: Pastoral Care as "Mission Praise".

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Makes the case for pastoral care in a mission-minded church

About the Author

The Revd Dr Gregory Clifton-Smith is Close Vicar and Honorary Canon at Winchester Cathedral. Having initially trained as a musician, Gregory worked in parish ministry for eight years before moving into healthcare chaplaincy, working as Assistant Chaplain at The Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading and Senior Chaplain at St. Mary's Hospital and the Earl Mountbatten Hospice in Newport on the Isle of Wight.


A haunting book. Clifton-Smith tenderly unsettles the church's modernist notions of mission with his musical and pastoral explorations of life in all its rawness. His use of musical form as a template for chaplaincy is lodged in my soul. I look forward to many variations and performances of this rich theme as his work reaches a wide, and appreciative, audience. -- Revd Canon Dr Margaret Whipp, Lead Chaplain, Oxford University Hospitals Gregory Clifton-Smith's book is a rare and exceptional contribution to the field of pastoral theology - imaginative, inspired, creative and clever. The arena of pastoral theology is normally dominated by books that focus on reflection, applications or techniques, so it is refreshing to find a profound volume such as Performing Pastoral Care, offering such an original insight into how pastoral care can be both imagined and practised. Gregory Clifton-Smith's book is both wise and winsome, and will repay careful reading for all those engaged in mission and ministry. -- The Very Revd Prof. Martyn Percy, Dean, Christ Church, Oxford We live in interesting and complex times. Modernity has given us choice and freedom to shape our destiny in many, often competing, directions. The Church is only one place where the shape of human experience is opened up and attended to in our struggle to flourish. This context provides us an opportunity to reimagine how theology and its practice might contribute to well-being. Performing Pastoral Care is a serious and substantial contribution to our understanding of this practice as it calls us all to rediscover our pastoral heart with imagination and creativity. Interdisciplinary in its focus - music and theology both blend and dialogue to provide a stimulating, intelligent and well-organised narrative. The reader is asked to look outwards through a number of lenses and using a variety of methods to engage with the paradoxes and ambiguities of human experience. It succeeds in providing a significant contribution to the literature around music and pastoral theology and its carefully organised chapters offer practical tools for the resourcing of the shapes of pastoral activity and performance. I hope that it will be widely used as part of the ongoing conversation about what might need to be transformed in and through us as we seek to reach out and serve our world and its peoples. I shall be adding it to core reading lists for my students. -- Dr James Woodward, Principal of Sarum College

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