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In the last twenty years, the number of texts written on clinical pastoral supervision has accelerated. Thomas St. James O’Connor analyzes these texts, nearly 300 of them, in light of three fundamental questions about the praxis of clinical pastoral supervision: (1)what is distinctive about the praxis? (2)what is an appropriate theological method for the praxis? and, (3)what is an adequate praxis? In doing so, he formulates three approaches: the social science, the hermeneutic and the special interest.
Looking at the theology of Charles Gerkin, a pastoral theologian and family therapist, O’Connor develops a conversation between Gerkin’s theology and the texts. The theological methods in the three approaches are critiqued and Gerkin’s praxis/theory/praxis method is endorsed. Case examples are used throughout to illustrate theory and issues discussed and to aid in the presentation of an adequate praxis.
Clinical Pastoral Supervision and the Theology of Charles Gerkin provides a unique overview of the history and current state of clinical pastoral supervision and an understanding of its methodology and theological foundations. More than that, it builds on the practical theory of Charles Gerkin, expanding it for immediate use in the practice of ministry.