It's been over 20 years since I gained my first degree in theology. In the meantime, this whole new area called pastoral and practical theology seems to have sprung up. I was keen to discover what this was all about. This reader gives a great introduction and overview to the whole subject and is written in a way that one can just dip in and out reading whichever article most appeals. Some are heavier than others but most are easily digested. Great if you want, as i did, just to gain some idea of what the whole area is about.
If you are a student of Christian ministry or theology it is likely that you will end up doing some work on pastoral care or the practical outworking of ministry in the community. This volume has quite a range of view points about issues that are likely to arise in essays. It covers two modules on my course at York St Johns.
Each chapter has an introduction about the writer (generally by an authority in the field) and a short biographical background and ends with points for further consideration and suggestions for further reading. There are 23 chapters, 17 of which were written specifically for this book. The introduction has helpful comments about how to get the best out of the volume which it emphasises is not a text book and is aimed at students and practitioners.
If you are not a student but seriously interested in the more academic arguments then this will also be of interest but less so, in my opinion, for the more general reader.