n HTS : Theological Studies - A pastoral response to the unhealed wound of gays exacerbated by indecision and inarticulacy

Volume 64, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



This article consists of six sections. It illustrates the ambiguity in pastoral care with gay people in institutional Christian communities and how this ambiguity exacerbates the unhealed wound of gay people. It discusses how the Christian message becomes ineffectual in its attempt to address the dilemma of injustice when Biblical evidence is used uncritically. The virtues of truth and righteousness in pastoral care are emphasised. The article argues that Paul Ricoeur's ethics of hermeneutical discourse could provide an epistemological framework for an appropriate response to the dilemma of ambiguity in ecclesial approaches to pastoral care with gay people. Listening for the unheard voices of marginalised people is an essential component of such a "discourse ethics" which is offered as a possible solution to the problem of inarticulacy. The article concludes by indicating some possibilities for a postmodern pastoral response to the unhealed wound of gay people, which at present is often exacerbated by the ambiguity and indecision of official church resolutions.

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