Domestic Violence in Pastoral Ministry: Challenges and Responsibilities

Today’s Greystone Conversations episode is taken from Greystone’s upcoming Summer module, Domestic Violence in Theology & Pastoral Ministry—a module which, in many respects, might be among the most unexpected for a theology institute dedicated to the advancement of Reformed theology in the mode of Reformed catholicity. The unexpected topic of this module highlights one of the challenges the Church faces in giving this complicated topic the attention it deserves: we often treat this incredibly complex and ugly subject as though it is in some ways less theologically demanding and less theological in nature than some of the more familiar and comfortable traditional theological questions.We also highlight here another challenge in addressing this topic: the disconnect between what we think we see, hear, and feel among such people with the reality that they live with in a largely private and invisible way. We do this, in part, because we are inclined to assume that what we see, what we hear, and what we experience must be, if not exhaustive of reality, at least a very reliable indicator of reality.The responsibility therefore for pastors and all Christians is a posture of patience, wisdom, thoughtfulness, and deliberateness as necessary ingredients in interpreting a situation faithfully. Such a posture, and the related virtues, belong to some of the classical virtues the church has recognized as important for doing sound theology. Therefore, we see that domestic violence is both a theologically profound and existentially disturbing reality that is no less theological and pastorally necessary to study than any other dogmatic topic.This module will be taught online for ThM and PhD students, and will be open to all MDiv and MAR students in the Westminster at Greystone Collaboration. For access to this courses and many more, become a Greystone Member today.

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