Document Type Doctoral Thesis Author Willemse, Esau URN etd-05112012-230724 Document Title Traumatic experience of divorce within a pastoral family in the Volkskerk van Africa (People’s Church of Africa) Degree PhD Department Practical Theology Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Prof M J Masango Supervisor Keywords
- Volkskerk van Afrika
- pastoral family
Date 2012-04-10 Availability unrestricted AbstractThis dissertation is about the traumatic experience of divorce within a pastoral family in the Volkskerk van Afrika (People’s Church of Africa). The intention of the author was to find ways of understanding why this phenomenon happens in a pastoral family. This research was carried out because the author had observed the painful struggle and trauma of a colleague and friend due to the onslaught of the divorce phenomenon. The emphasis of this research was on the roll of the denomination of the Volkskerk van Afrika (People’s church of Africa) when divorce strikes the parsonage and how the church as a custodian of pastoral care can help those individuals, especially pastoral families therapeutically.
In Chapter Two the author has helped the reader understand the science of methodology and how this discipline functions in pastoral care. The methods of Gerkin, Taylor, and Collins were used to emphasize the high calling of the shepherding model. In Chapter Three the author has helped the reader understand how Christians understand marriage in the Christian tradition. Here the author touched on:
- Marriage as an expression of the relational nature of God;
- Marriage as a journey towards intimacy;
- Key expressions that shape our view of a successful marriage;
- Marriage as a covenant relationship
In Chapter Four the author outlined the process of divorce and how it impacts negatively on the pastoral family. This Chapter has also looked at the theory of trauma and how it traumatizes pastoral families in the aftermath of the divorce phenomenon. Here the author discussed:
- Divorce as a comprehensive loss;
- Stages in the divorce process;
- The psychological effect of divorce on children;
- The stance of the Bible on divorce
Pertaining to trauma the author cites Means who says that “trauma is something sudden, violent, brutal or catastrophic which touches a person’s life in some intimate way. It comes from the Greek word “wound”, which can be on physical, emotional psychological, relational and spiritual level. These levels are interconnected; therefore trauma affects one’s entire life” (2000: 3). Chapter Five contains a sad anecdote of how divorce has traumatized the author’s colleague. This anecdote has exposed the author to the pain and of the pastor and his family, not to mention the congregation, and the community when faced with such a traumatic experience such as the divorce phenomenon.
The closing Chapter of this dissertation suggests ways in which the denomination of the VVA (PCA) can create a pastoral care manual for the church which will specifically deal with marriage, divorce, remarriage, and other issues when it occurs. The church being the body of Christ should be a caring community which should bring healing and spiritual wholeness to individuals affected by the onslaught of the divorce phenomenon.
© 2011 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.
Please cite as follows:
Willemse, E 2011, Traumatic experience of divorce within a pastoral family in the Volkskerk van Africa (People’s Church of Africa), PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05112012-230724/ >
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