An Integrative Vision for Pastoral Power

  • Philip Browning Helsel
Part of the New Approaches to Religion and Power book series (NARP)


At a small church in an inner-city storefront in a community that has undergone massive factory closures, a pastor preaches about unemployment. Afterward, she gathers in a circle with parishioners for prayer, lifting their concerns up for the church to hear and praying together to God. Here is something more than a panacea or the opiate of the people. The minister does not simply sanctify the situation as it is, but focuses on how the community can continue on in the face of adversity. The minister in prayer brings together the chief concerns of the whole person, its soul and its survival, and removes any doubt that this suffering is in any way the fault of these individuals.


Mental Illness Emotional Distress Mental Distress Pastoral Care Lower Social Status 
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© Philip Browning Helsel 2015

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  • Philip Browning Helsel

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