Here, for the first time, the development of pastoral care as a discipline has been documented. Dr. Holifield details the shift in emphasis from saving souls to supporting individuals in self-realization, and in the process raises thought-provoking questions about the preoccupation with psychological methodology evident in modern society and clergy.
Every pastor wittingly or unwittingly adopts some 'theory' of pastoral counseling, whether it be derived from the seventeenth century or from the twentieth, says Dr. Holifield. From colonial America's intellectual approach to today's therapeutic self culture, he explores those theories. Theological, social, economic, and psychological threads are interwoven with fascinating conversational examples to show how Protestantism helped to form--and was influenced by--changing social orders. Broad in scope, scholarly in detail, yet immensely readable, this is an important book for clinical pastoral educators, students, professionals--everyone interested in church and social history.