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A book of pastoral practice for those who are souled-out by the market economy.

By: 'The Catholic Weekly' - 5th of August 2008

‘Beyond the Culture of Care’ is a book of pastoral practice for those who are ‘souled-out’ by the market economy.


In it Frances Moran argues that people are no longer subjects but commodities and she uses the lives of people such as Casey Donovan, Condaleeza Rice, Shane Warne and Oliver Sacks to support her case.


In presenting her argument she also points out that it is not just the market forces that are achieving this effect, but people themselves.


She sets out her case in a clear and succinct manner and bases her argument on solid evidence.


She begins by exploring how people are removing themselves from each other, and making themselves subjects, through language, which is the one attribute that makes us human.


She then discusses four mentalities – theological, dialogical, individualistic and market – which have existed from around 1940 to the present in order to show that the focus has changed to one where the everyday person is no longer considered as an individual but as a consumer who has value only in dollar terms.


She continues by showing that our pastoral and spiritual beings are being obliterated and asking whether pastoral work is relevant anymore.


She then offers a solution which involves a new way of thinking and educating those who would like to work in [the] area of pastoral care: a way that will enable people to recognise their humanity as subjects, and so acknowledge the realm wherein the spirit lives.


The book has two useful appendixes: ‘A Subject Speaks’, which shows the importance of taking time to listen to people, and ‘Ex Libris Animi’, which provides a short list and brief summaries of six books that are relevant to the area of pastoral care.


Frances M. Moran has worked as a practising clinician in the psychoanalytic tradition in Melbourne for many years and the book is the culmination of a number of years of work as a consultant in the area of pastoral care as conducted within an institutional setting, particularly within a general hospital.


The book specifically emerged from her experience as the keynote speaker at the Ecumenical Conference for Chaplains in Melbourne in 2005.


– Review of Frances M. Moran’s ‘Beyond the Culture of Care’ in ‘The Catholic Weekly’, 29 June 2008.


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