In Soft Shepherd or Almighty Pastor? contributors seek to go beyond the taboo on “power” within pastoral contexts. They not only discuss fundamental theological and philosophical questions about power but also develop ways to prevent power abuse in pastoral context. Power is considered as omnipresent and is analyzed in its positive and negative aspects. Not only the classical associations of “power over” or “domination” are discussed in relation to ecclesial and pastoral situations, but also forms of power linked to “service” and “care.” A sacrificial spirituality might also be dangerous.
Soft Shepherd or Almighty Pastor? gathers ten contributions, all of which reflect on the complexity of power issues, also in relation to sexual abuse. The authors argue that dealing adequately with power requires renewed forms of theological thinking, especially about ministry.