Path Created with Sketch.





Sorry - this product is no longer available

Caring Cultures

How Congregations Respond to the Sick
  • By Susan J. Dunlap

Skilled pastoral caregiving, Susan Dunlap argues, requires an understanding of the culture of the local congregation where it is practiced.  An engaging example par excellence, Caring Cultures looks closely at three very different congregations' responses to the body in times of illness:  an African American congregation in the Apostolic Holiness tradition; a Euro-American mainstream Protestant church; and the Latino members in a Roman Catholic parish.

With vivid examples drawn from the author's interviews and observations, this beautifully written book shows how each congregation has developed divergent ways of thinking about the body, habits of responding to it, and understandings of God's response to the body's pain or peril.  The author offers unusually rich descriptions of care-giving as it is displayed in these three congregations, integrating both well-explained theory and moving personal stories.

Selling Points

  • Told with great immediacy and filled with stories and insights
  • Explores a multidimensional approach to healing---"healing" in a larger sense than strictly medical
  • Can help caregivers understand patients from other cultures
  • Should be read by pastors and by health care workers, social workers, and caregivers of all kinds

Comparable texts

  • When Faith is Tested, Jeffry Zurheide, 978-0-80062-978-6, Augsburg Fortress Publishers, (Paperback)
  • Practicing Theology:  Beliefs and Practices in Christian Life, Miroslav Volf, and Dorothy C. Bass, eds., 978-0-80284-931-1, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, (Paperback)
  • The Black Woman's Health Book:  Speaking for Ourselves, 2nd ed., Evelyn C. White, 978-1-87806-740-1, Seal Press, (Paperback)

Level:     General/Upper level undergraduate


  • Pastoral Theology
  • Pastoral Care
  • Church and Ministry
  • American Religious History
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Religion and Healing

There is much that is wrong with our current pastoral care.  Susan Dunlap's insights can help us set that right.  She shows how much of our current care giving in the church is culturally bound, limited to the needs of a limited constituency and economically determined.  Through study of specific congregations, she challenges many of our inherited patterns of care and thereby encourages us pastoral care givers to expand our vision of care.  I found this to be a challenging, helpful, hopeful book.
---- Will Willimon, Bishop, the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church and Visiting Research Professor, Duke Divinity School, Author of Worship as Pastoral Care

Caring Cultures offers profound insight into an ancient and ongoing practice of the Christian life:  the care of those who are ill.  Through rich portraits of this practice and the beliefs that sustain it in three very different congregations, Susan Dunlap shows how diverse groups of contemporary Americans experience illness, embodiment, mutual support and, ultimately, God.  The depth and attentiveness of Dunlap's research, together with the compassion and beauty of her writing, make this book important reading for practical theologians, chaplains, congregational leaders, and others who would deepen their capacity to understand and minister in the midst of suffering.
---- Dorothy C. Bass, Director, Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith.

Chapter 1:  Introduction
Chapter 2:  Healing Waters Apostolic Holiness Church
Chapter 3:  Healing Waters' Beliefs-Practices
Chapter 4:  First Downtown Church
Chapter 5:  First Downtown Church's Beliefs-Practices
Chapter 6:  Our Lady of Durham
Chapter 7:  Our Lady of Durham's Beliefs-Practices
Chapter 8:  A Practical Theology of Care for the Sick

Read More

free shipping iconEligible For Free Shipping
  • Additional Details
  • Additional Details
    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9781932792874
    • Manufacturer: Baylor Univ Pr
    • Language of Text: English
    • ISBN 13: 9781932792874
    • Publication Date: 07/01/2009
    • Format: Paperback
    • Author: Susan J. Dunlap
    • Page Count: 260
    • Weight: 0.85 pounds
    Shipping & Returns
    This item is available for return. Cokesbury uses a variety of methods for ground shipping. At your request, we can also expedite order shipments for an additional charge. Cokesbury partners with UPS for these expedited deliveries.