Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Orthodox Christian Pastoral Care

  • Philip MamalakisEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9294

Orthodox Christian pastoral care is, essentially, an encounter of persons: the person of the pastor, the parishioner, and the three persons of the Holy Trinity. These encounters can be brief, ostensibly insignificant public encounters, or deep private conversations. Smaller encounters set the stage for deeper encounters in times of struggle or distress. The primary role of the pastor is one of prayerful presence as he enters into the tension of these pastoral encounters, situating each encounter within the life of the parishioner and the life of the Church.

These encounters can be experienced but not fully defined because persons are created in the image of God, who can be experienced, but not be fully explained or defined. Orthodox pastoral care treats people, not problems or diagnoses, and healing occurs within this encounter of “knowing” and being known in relationships. Pastoral care is focused on bringing healing through reconciling persons with God and his Church. Naturally,...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hellenic College, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of TheologyBrooklineUSA