This book argues that sound theological foundations are essential for sound pastoral care--and that pastoral care provides a rich resource for fresh, even profound theological reflection. The chapters present a series of case studies. Each begins with a chaplain's encounter with a patient in crisis, whether from pain, loss, abandonment, trauma, or guilt. The quest for God in these circumstances may be overt but is more often indirect or simply absent. In any case, the chaplain must react, intervene, ask a question, and provide hints as to God's possible presence. Her responses are always theologically driven and pose a challenge to the reader. Do we agree with her response? Would we have chosen a different approach? Should her own faith have been more obvious, or less? Her narrative is then followed by an essay of theological reflection showing what is theologically at stake in each case and what kind of theological tools are available. The book concludes with a theoretical consideration of the benefits of an interdisciplinary conversation between practical and systematic theology, fields that too often remain separate. Accessible and inspiring, this book itself embodies the combination of sensitivity, wisdom, and mature theology that goes into effective pastoral care.