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HI-Touch Pastoral Approach in the 21st Century

A response to the problem of insufficient organic link between faith and daily life in Nigeria

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Sylvester Ajunwa

«Human Integrated Touch» (HI-Touch) is a pastoral care approach that could be a response to the lingering problems of Christianity marred by an insufficient organic link between faith and daily life in Nigeria. Arguing for an integrated approach to humans and the human condition, the study presents the HI-Touch as a form of pastoral care that is not only based on religious affiliations, but also on human authentic values vis-a vis an authentic Christian faith in a dynamic society. The growth of atheism in modern societies is not only a conceptual denial of the existence of God but an elimination of God from the affairs of man. The right way to overcome this is through a new order of human relations that calls for love, mutual respect, hospitality, empathy, communion, and dialogue with one another in all human situations.
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This work is structured as a critique of the dissociation of the practice of Christian faith from daily life with its challenges and struggles to cope with the material needs that sustain life. It examines the gap between religious sources of wisdom and social issues, the rift between faith and practical life or between faith and culture. This gap between the two domains has a long complicated history extending from early Christianity right up until the 21st century and encompassing the social structures and cultures of the world at large. The history books chronicle the details of this complicated history which cannot be narrated within the scope of this work, but suffice it to say that there has been an age-long disparity as well as compromises between the two domains. However, the basic questions that inspired this work are as follows: How does one define who is a true Christian especially in contemporary times, looking at the whole raft of differences that exist between how things are done in society and what Christian faith teaches and propagates in its varied denominations? Could Christians be defined according to how they look, their colour or race, how they dress, their words, mannerisms, signs and symbols, or ways of life, observance of rules and codes or religious practices? What gives Christianity and Christians their identity? Are there ethical principles associated with Christian faith which differentiates it from social ethics and what determines those ethical principles? These questions have always appeared in...

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