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Pastoral Care
(4,842 words)

[German Version]

I. The Term

Linguistic usage is not uniform. The English expression pastoral care comes from Lat. pastor (Pastor), while the corresponding German term, Seelsorge, is literally “soul care.” Both terms have a secular origin. The concept is first found in Plato, that is, in a “philosophy that understands itself as pastoral care” (Bonhoeffer, 9). Plato has Socrates call on his fellow-citizens to show ἐπιμέλεια τῆς ψ…

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Ziemer, Jürgen, Pohl-Patalong, Uta, Schmidt-Rost, Reinhard and Henkys, Jürgen, “Pastoral Care”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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