Creating Resistances: Pastoral Care in a Postcolonial World


Multiple forms of oppression, injustice, and violence today have roots in histories of colonialism. This connection to the past feels familiar for some and less relevant for others. Understanding and responding to these connections is more crucial than ever, yet some resist rather than face this task directly. Others resist oppressive postcolonial conditions.

Using intercultural stories and pastoral care scholarship, this book charts pathways through five resistances (not me, not here, not now, not relevant, not possible) to awaken creative pastoral care in a postcolonial world. McGarrah Sharp recommends practices that everyone can do: believing in each other, revisiting how histories are taught, imagining more passable futures, heeding prophetic poets, and crossing borders with healthy boundaries.

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Melinda A. McGarrah Sharp, Ph.D. (2010), Vanderbilt University, is Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Pastoral Care at Columbia Theological Seminary. Author of Misunderstanding Stories: Toward a Postcolonial Pastoral Theology (Pickwick, 2013), her work integrates pastoral theology, ethics, and postcolonial theory.

Resistance Is Many Things
 1 Resourcing Resistances: a Fable
 2 Joining the Resistance
 3 Resisting Means Many Things
 4 Resisting as Pastoral Care
 5 Guide to the Book
 6 Invitation to Readers
 7 Introduction Discussion Questions
1 Unlocking Disbeliefs: Moving through “Not Me” Resistances
 1 Encountering “Not Me” Resistances
 2 Unlocking Disbeliefs: Resisting Injustices in Everyday Life
 3 Resistance Movements that Loosen Hinges of Healing in Everyday Life
 4 Summary and Conclusion
 5 Chapter 1 Discussion Questions
2 Remembering Pasts: Moving through “Not Here” Resistances
 1 Encountering “Not Here” Resistances
 2 Re-Membering Past “Not Here” Resistances
 3 Practicing Resistance Movements: Role Playing Role Playing
 4 Inviting “The Living Me” Here (without the Sugar-Coating)
 5 Chapter 2 Discussion Questions
3 Re-Storying Impassable Futures: Moving through “Not Now” Resistances
 1 Encountering “Not Now” Resistances: Adjudicating Possibilities, Legislating Futures
 2 Re-Storying Impassable Futures
 3 Pastoral Care as Resistance That Restores Possibilities and Re-Stories Dreams
 4 Chapter 3 Discussion Questions
4 Amplifying Phoenix Poets: Moving through “Not Relevant” Resistances
 1 Confronting “Not Relevant” Resistances
 2 Vulnerabilities and Values of Resisting as Pastoral Care
 3 Learning That Resistance Movements Create Dangerously
 4 Moving in Search of the Phoenix Poet (or, a Necessarily Fragmentary Conclusion)
 5 Chapter 4 Discussion Questions
5 Crossing Borders with Healthy Boundaries: Moving through “Not Possible” Resistances
 1 I Am the Resistance
 2 Border Crossing without Healthy Boundaries: Confronting “Not Possible” Resistances
 3 Ethics Conundrums in an Intercultural Paradigm of Pastoral Care
 4 Postcolonializing Ethics in Intercultural Pastoral Care: Soul Work
 5 Learning Creative Possibilities
 6 Making Resistance as Prophetic Pastoral Care
 7 Conclusion
 8 Chapter 5 Discussion Questions
Widening the Scope: Seven Contributions and Connections to Pastoral and Practical
 1 Pastoral Care Begins with a Question: “What Are You Going through?”
 2 Resisting in Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology: a Brief Historical Trajectory
 3 Multiple Methodological Belonging
 4 Intercultural Paradigm of Pastoral Care
 5 Postcolonializing Pastoral Care: an Ongoing Creative Collaboration
 6 Living Postcolonializing Processes in Practice(s)
 7 Widening the Scope More: Decolonizing Theological Education

Index of Terms and Names
Index of Practices
Index of Biblical Citations
Students training as leaders of faith communities and nonprofits, who face postcolonial realities of the 21st century; pastoral theologians and care practitioners interested in the intercultural paradigm of pastoral care.