Title page for ETD etd-10072011-153512

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Gabobonwe, Ohentse Hamilton
Email ohentseh@gmail.com
URN etd-10072011-153512
Document Title The challenge to pastoral caregivers in the event of sudden death
Degree PhD
Department Practical Theology
Advisor Name Title
Prof M J Masango Supervisor
  • pastoral caregivers
  • sudden death
Date 2011-09-08
Availability unrestricted
Death, and in special ways, sudden death has struck the church and various families at different times in our lives. The grief in the bereaved has challenged the church, in numerous ways including having to deal with people who are out of possibility with regard to the competencies of the church due stress disorders. This has asked serious theological questions about the pastoral care of the church who is expected to be the custodian of healing through faith. Sudden death as a stressor, has grown to be more common in recent years, and having checked a number of church registers and finding out that there are more funerals than baptisms the church has to conduct, one looks and evaluate the effectiveness of the counseling done through funerals that the church has had to handle---whether there is still meaning accorded to such services or not---whether there is any attempt to engage the bereaved during their mourning in the sound theological reflection on to the questions:

    “Where, o death, is your victory?

    “Where, o death, is your sting? (1 Cor. 15: 55).

Paul puts it in his address to the Corinthians “the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. This understanding, and several others usually cited has needed theological reflection in helping the people in grief for their loved ones snatched from them by sudden death, especially when it is through no fault of their own.

Quiet practically, many people have befallen prey to stresses of different kinds trying to cope with big losses through sudden death, and this has manifested itself differently. In the event of lack of knowledge of what to do to help such people, the church and pastoral care givers have either conducted many ordinary services (common to those done usually) or have coincidentally engaged one or more of the other fields namely:

    The medical sciences
    Psychological sciences and/or

    Psychiatrical sciences.

The work enquires into the improvements that have happened in the course of time in the theological sciences in dealing with people stricken by sudden death through pastoral care, and attempts to allow theology to claim her responsibility in the midst of all mentioned sciences. The work attempts to empower the church and guide all pastoral care givers to skillfully deal with such circumstances as sudden death, invoking the methodology of shepherding to alley the sting of death that has found the church to be lacking, and questioned her credibility on the subject. Effort is put into comparing sudden death with the common ‘bad luck’ perception brought about by cultural traditions. It will attempt to craft the common ground from which the church and all the sciences mentioned can cooperate fruitfully for common goals and better assistance to the people we all serve today.

© 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:

Gabobonwe, OH 2011, The challenge to pastoral caregivers in the event of sudden death, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10072011-153512/>


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