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Durham e-Theses
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Towards a new paradigm of pastoral theology in the social context of Japan

Nakamura, Andrew K. (2001) Towards a new paradigm of pastoral theology in the social context of Japan. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis, by investigating modem pastoral theologies in the United States and the United Kingdom, explores a new perspective of pastoral theology in Japan. American pastoral theology developed in the direction of the Clinical Pastoral Education movement, which was largely informed by psychology and psychotherapy. British pastoral theology was also influenced by these disciplines, but it stressed a different direction, the corporate and social dimension of pastoral care. However, at a broad level of generalization, both American and British pastoral theologies, especially after the 1980s, have gradually shifted the emphasis of their framework to a common attempt to integrate pastoral care and social commitment. By comparison with these Western experiences, much pastoral ministry in Japan has exhibited a strong tendency to neglect the external influences on human beings. It needs a new paradigm of pastoral theology which is socio-politically aware and committed pastoral care. Therefore we discover a remarkable convergence between the Western and Japanese contexts and tasks of pastoral theology. In chapter 1, we investigate the Japanese Church in history and society, examining the major characteristics of Japanese Christianity and the problems and tasks of pastoral theology. In chapter 2, we examine how modem pastoral theology in the United States has developed, notably the Clinical Pastoral Education movement. However, the impact of the black civil rights movement has brought new directions to modem pastoral theology in the social context of the pursuit of racial justice. In chapter 3, we identify the different development of British pastoral theology, focusing on some representative achievements: the Clinical Theology by Frank Lake and the theology of salvation and healing by Robert Lamboume. We inquire into the shift from a personal-individualistic approach to a communal, corporate and social awareness in pastoral theology. We then turn back to the social context of Japan in chapter 4. Our investigation examines the Emperor (Tenno) system which has definitely formed the ethos of modem Japanese society. We trace the historical process of the establishment and expansion of the modem Tenno system up to the end of the Second World War, and then the dismantlement of the absolute Tenno system and introduction of the symbolic Tenno system. However, surprisingly, there is a persistent pressure by the power elite for revising the Tenno system of prewar times. In the final chapter 5, we conclude with the case for a new paradigm of pastoral theology in Japan. Various aspects of Japanese culture and society still lie under the Tenno system, therefore the tasks of pastoral care in the Japanese social context should be focused on transforming petrified Japanese culture and society.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2001
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:26 Jun 2012 15:25

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