Caring for Joy: Narrative, Theology, and Practice

Series:

In Caring for Joy: Narrative, Theology, and Practice Mary Clark Moschella offers a new account of the value of joy in caregiving vocations, demonstrating how the work of caring for persons, communities, and the world need not be a dreary endeavor overwhelmed by crises or undermined by despair. Moschella presents glimpses of joy-in-action in the narratives of five notable figures: Heidi Neumark, Henri Nouwen, Gregory Boyle, Pauli Murray, and Paul Farmer, gleaning their wisdom for the construction of a theology of joy that embodies compassion, connection, justice, and freedom. Care must be deep enough to hold human suffering and spacious enough to take in the divine goodness, beauty, and love. This book expands the pastoral theological imagination and narrates joy-full approaches to transformational care.

“This work is a scholarly, engaging and compassionate call to reconsider the significance of joyful living and joyful lives in radical pastoral theology.”
— Heather Walton, University of Glasgow, President of the International Academy of Practical Theology, July 2016.

“Based on biographies, interviews, and life stories, Mary Clark Moschella presents joy as a counter-cultural emotion, as a spiritual path, and as a fruit of the Spirit. In her research, joy and reason are not ultimately opposed.”
— Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, Professor of Pastoral Care, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, July 2016.

“This highly readable and compelling theology of joy will inspire you to explore how joy might energize your vocation, especially caregiving vocations that use narrative approaches to spiritual care and pastoral counseling. I plan on using this book as a textbook in my theodicy, grief, death and dying, and vocational courses.”
— Carrie Doehring, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Iliff School of Theology, Denver, August 2016

“Mary Moschella has given us a rare text, one that is theologically rich, intellectually sophisticated, drenched in pastoral wisdom, and beautifully written. She gives us a pastoral theology attuned to the realities of diversity and sensitive to the complex challenges facing those who lives constantly interface with suffering. There is simply nothing else like this book in pastoral care.”
— Willie James Jennings, Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies, Yale University, August 2016

Prices from (excl. VAT):

€56.00$69.00
Add to Cart
Mary Clark Moschella is the Roger J. Squire Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Yale Divinity School. She is the author of Ethnography as a Pastoral Practice: An Introduction, and many other publications in pastoral and practical theology.
"Got joy?” might be a way to paraphrase the theme of this book by Mary Clark Moschella, who teaches pastoral care at Yale Divinity School. It’s an important question. (...) Moschella notes that the subject of joy is “conspicuously missing” in many mainline churches, seminaries, and divinity schools. (...) To build her case, Moschella profiles five Christians whose lives witness to joy even as they confront suffering and injustice (...). [She] shows how each of these Christians know and care for joy even as they experience suffering and engage injustice." - Anthony B. Robinson, United Church, in: Christian Century (July 2017).

"This is a rich and important book on joy in pastoral work and life. By setting the work in the context of both science and narrative theory, this is a truly wise book of practical and pastoral theology. The Baptist theologian James McClendon recommended looking at exemplary Christian lives as a source for theology but few theologians have taken that route. Here, Moschella has done so in abundance. For putting the topic of joy back on the map of pastoral and practical theology, this book will appeal to those who work in pastoral theology and in pastoral ministry." - Aaron Klink, Pruitt Health Hospice North Carolina. In: Reading Religion (February 2017).

"In a welcome discussion, Clark Moschella suggests caregivers move away from concentration solely on suffering to a more holistic pastoral care that includes an emphasis on joy. She weaves together the theological and spiritual practices of joy through five narratives of diverse caregivers. Of interest are the narratives of Heidi Neumark and Pauli Murray"- In: WATER Recommended, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (November 2016).



"'Many care givers resist joy' Mary Moschella perceptively observes. We may be too focused upon unmet needs or the inadequacy of our justice-seeking work to glory in the graced wonder of human encounters. However, in tracing the painful yet joyful lives of exemplary religious care-givers, she reminds us of the power of joy to transform both our caring work and our spiritual reflections. This work is a scholarly, engaging and compassionate call to reconsider the significance of joyful living and joyful lives in radical pastoral theology." - Heather Walton, University of Glasgow, President of the International Academy of Practical Theology, July 2016.

"Sadly enough, “joy” as a topic of utmost importance to theological scholarship has been missing-in-action in research, theory, and praxis. Based on biographies, interviews, and life stories, Mary Clark Moschella presents joy as a counter-cultural emotion, as a spiritual path, and as a fruit of the Spirit. In her research, joy and reason are not ultimately opposed. This theory is tested through narrative approaches in pastoral theology, approaches which reveal the heights as well as the depth of the span of human possibilities. Whereas pastoral care and pastoral theology tend to focus on the depths of suffering in its caregiving, Moschella offers joy-full approaches as well. Moschella offers glimmers of gladness, hints of hope, and even sparkling moments as a tribute “in the triumph song of life” itself." - Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, July 2016.

"Prepare to be surprised by joy as a spiritual path and source of hope in the darkness of suffering. Yes, we may initially feel reluctant to immerse ourselves in joy in such troubling times, as Moschella was. She invites us to venture deeper, into the neurophysiology of joy as an emotion that can reveal love amidst suffering. We step into five stories about people living out theologies of joy in places and spaces of poverty, intense physical and emotional needs, gang violence, racism, and sexism. These complex, multi-layered stories are brought into dialogue with theological and biblical sources, such as the Book of Job, to construct theologies of joy that can bear the weight of suffering. This highly readable and compelling theology of joy will inspire you to explore how joy might energize your vocation, especially caregiving vocations that use narrative approaches to spiritual care and pastoral counseling. I plan on using this book as a textbook in my theodicy, grief, death and dying and vocational courses." - Carrie Doehring, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Iliff School of Theology, Denver, August 2016.

"Mary Moschella has given us a rare text, one that is theologically rich, intellectually sophisticated, drenched in pastoral wisdom, and beautifully written. There is simply nothing else like this book in pastoral care. Moschella opens up new ways for caregivers of all types to envision and live a flourishing life, a life of joy, in the midst of their work. She gives us a pastoral theology attuned to the realities of diversity and sensitive to the complex challenges facing those who lives constantly interface with suffering. This is a book that should be read by all caregivers, current and future, because like rest for a weary soul, this book will help." - Willie James Jennings, Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies, Yale University, August 2016.







Contents

Preface: Jump!
Introduction

Part One - Emotional Experiences
1. Joy as Emotion: Memory, Moods, and Motivations

Part Two - Spiritual Paths
2. Joy in Relationship: Heidi Neumark and Transfiguration Lutheran Church
3. Suffering and Joy: Henri Nouwen and L’Arche
4. Compassion, Kinship, and Joy: Gregory Boyle and Homeboy Industries
5. A Theology of Joy—Feeling toward God’s Goodness and Love

Part Three - Larger Questions
6. Justice and Joy: Pauli Murray and Civil Rights
7. Accompaniment, Abundance, and Joy: Paul Farmer and Partners in Health
8. A Theology of Joy—Respond, Resist, Rejoice!

Part Four - Sparkling Moments
9. Joy-full Conversations: A Narrative Approach

Select Bibliography
Index
Scholars and seekers of joy, practical and pastoral theologians, graduate students, seminarians, undergraduate students, academic and public libraries, religious leaders, spiritual counselors, narrative therapists, social activists, anti-racists, and everyday people of faith.