Agency, Culture, and Human Personhood: Pastoral Theology and Intimate Partner Violence

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Pickwick Publications, Jan 1, 2009 - Religion - 175 pages
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Description: Agency, Culture and Human Personhood"" uses feminist theories, process and liberation theologies, psychodynamics and the problem of intimate partner violence to develop a pastoral theology of human agency. The turn to cultural context for understanding what makes human beings who they are and do the things they do, raises significant questions about human agency. To what extent is agency, the human capacity to act, self-determined, and to what extent is it determined by external factors? If we conceive of persons with too little agency we negate the possibility for change but too much agency negates the necessity for resistance movements. Hoeft argues that agency arises ambiguously from and is constituted of culture. She suggests that such a conception of agency enables the church to foster in victims, perpetrators, and congregations more resistance to violence and proposes practices of ministry that can do just that. The book will challenge deeply ingrained notions of personal responsibility and one's capacity to choose change, yet offers concrete proposals for a creating a less violent world. Endorsements: ""Jeanne Hoeft is one of the best of a new generation of brilliant pastoral theologians. In Agency, Culture, and Human Personhood she has made an original and much needed contribution to the ministry of the churches in society by focusing on the question of human agency and freedom. Instead of victims and perpetrators, God has created complex human beings with various layers of freedom and responsibility. Every church leader who is serious about understanding human personhood from a Christian perspective must read this book."" --James Newton Poling Professor of Pastoral Care, Counseling, and Theology Garrett Evangelical Seminary ""In this tightly woven and complex text, Jean Hoeft has constructed a rich theological anthropology through which she explores the cultural dynamics of both victimhood and resistance in intimate partner violence. Hoeft grounds her proposal in process and liberation theologies, object-relations psychology, and a post-structuralist understanding of embodied agency. She concludes the book with a helpful framework for a pastoral care of resistance. I think this text breaks new ground in understanding the dynamics of intimate violence and the potential for a pastoral care of empowerment, agency, and resistance. I recommend it highly."" --Christie Cozad Neuger Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care Brite Divinity School ""I did not expect to feel more hopeful after reading this book-but that was its effect on me. To arguments that show how we become victims or perpetrators of violence through complex cultural processes, Hoeft adds a much-needed constructive dimension: culture constricts our agency, yes, but also enables us to embody the capacity to resist violence. --Kathleen J. Greider Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling Claremont School of Theology About the Contributor(s): Jeanne Hoeft is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City. She is a United Methodist clergywoman, former parish pastor, and has worked in the area of domestic violence for almost 20 years.

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Contents

Introduction i
21
Ontological Interrelatedness
30
The Constructed Psyche
63
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Jeanne Hoeft is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City. She is a United Methodist clergywoman, former parish pastor, and has worked in the area of domestic violence for almost 20 years.

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