Sunday, December 11, 2005

What is a pastoral question?

OK so I am back to studying. I was working through this one day before yesterday - it is the first question. In what way is the question of humanity (anthropology)a pastoral question?

I thought it might be interesting to throw that up here and see what stirs up.

The way we think about our own humanity is quite complex. Historically you could say one has a soul or an ability to reason or even to develop reflexive language. But now we have to think more of what makes us human is what we do with these capacities. Hence the expression - how inhumane of that person. In fact we see a lot of behaviour in the world that we would want to disassociate with humanity - a young girl stabbed to death on campus just this week comes to mind.

So what is the pastoral dimension that is brought to bear here? I think that question needs to be turned inward to those who seek to be of help to the world. When we express our humanity are we not, in theory, expressing that which is best about us and genuinely longs to make this world a better place? I think that has to be part of how we answer the question of what it means to be a human.

So I put to you readers, drop me a comment. What is the pastoral dimension of the question of humanity?

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