Pastoral anthropology beyond the paradigm of medieval thinking : from 'cura animarum' (the anthropologyof substantial thinking and nous) to 'cura vitae' (the anthropology of systems thinking and phronesis)

Louw, Daniel (2010)

CITATION: Louw, D. 2010. Pastoral anthropology beyond the paradigm of medieval thinking : from 'cura animarum' (the anthropologyof substantial thinking and nous) to 'cura vitae' (the anthropology of systems thinking and phronesis). Scriptura, 104:352-366, doi:10.7833/104-0-176.

The original publication is available at http://scriptura.journals.ac.za

Article

The philosophy of the middle ages can be described as the period of scholasticism. Scholasticism is a technical term for the period wherein the Christian faith and doctrine started to merge with the paradigms of ancient, Hellenistic philosophy. The paradigms of Plato and Aristotle were transformed into the language of Christian spirituality. Within the tension between faith and reason, systematic reflection was predominantly determined by metaphysical and substantial thinking. Anthropology was influenced by the so called 'object subject' split and the dualism between the spiritual realm and the material realm. The dominant methodological paradigm of 21st century thinking is hermeneutics and its connectedness to the concept of systemic networking. It is argued that the implication of this paradigm shift for theory formation in pastoral anthropology and spiritual healing is the reframing of the classic formula of cura animarum (soul as substance). In order to introduce a holistic approach to 'wholeness' in spiritual healing, the notion of cura vitae (soul as habitus within a qualitative network of relationships: the living human web) is proposed.

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