Crisis, Fear and Hope

Crisis, Fear and Hope

An Introduction into Practical Theological Reflections

Crisis. A word that today fills all news headlines worldwide. For each person, the word crisis will refer to something different. Some persons will connect it with an economic crisis that has a direct impact on their household budget. For others, it’s about a war crisis that made them refugees overnight. Some will think primarily of an energy crisis, where others will immediately think of the Covid-19 crisis that brought sickness and death to the family. There will also be those who link crisis to a very personal existential experience: an experience that will not make the headlines but that can just as easily determine the course of life.

How does the phenomenon of crisis and how do various crisis experiences relate to faith of individuals and groups of people and the functioning of faith communities? This question forms a common thread in Crisis, Fear and Hope. In this volume this question is specifically approached from the discipline of practical theology. This means, first, that the question is not raised in its generality or in the abstract but is addressed in the context of specific local, sometimes private experiences of crisis. Second, a practical theological approach to the question means that theological analysis and interpretation is an important part of the discourse conducted

This volume has been structured along the lines of five sides of the crisis experience where connections with the phenomenon of faith might be located and further explored: (1) Justice, (2) Uncertainty and fear, (3) Belonging, (4) Care, and (5) Being church.

The first part of this volume on justice addresses the themes of socio-economic, political and ethical components of crisis, the issue of migration, developing ecological virtues, and the theme of food and welcoming at the table. The second part on uncertainty and fear covers the themes of fear and solidarity, populism, fear as a form of diakonia, and coping with disease. Belonging is the main theme of part three of the volume and addresses the war experience, the refugee experience, the sacrament of the Eucharist, and Christian hospitality. Part four is focused on care and covers themes like spirituality expression and needs, embracing risks, pastoral care, the phenomenon of dementia, and spiritual uplifting of children. Part five has church as its focus and addresses the themes of spiritual care by churches, the existence of spiritual abuse in churches, and the church experience of being in crisis.We hope this rich sample of perspectives on cri-sis, reflected on from a practical theological lens, will add to our understanding of an experience rooted in a global and highly interconnected world.

(Book print on demand. ISSN: 2628-0000)

Casteel, Amy, Annemie Dillen, Jos de Kock, and Armin Kummer, eds. Crisis, Fear and Hope: An Introduction into Practical Theological Reflections. International Academy of Practical Theology, Conference Series 3. Fellbach: Wiesinger, 2023.