Crisis and Repair in Intercultural Relationships: A Theological, Psychological, and Postcolonial Analysis
Sharp, Melinda Ann McGarrah
In this dissertation, I argue that pastoral theologians must better understand crises of intercultural misunderstanding and help repair them. Pastoral theologians study human suffering and fulfillment in relation to care-giving practices. Most pastoral theologians use interdisciplinary methods to understand intrapsychic and interpersonal aspects of human suffering and fulfillment without considering cultural differences. I use theology, psychology, and postcolonial theory to examine case studies of intercultural misunderstanding. I use postcolonial theorists to show that talk about culture can remain fairly abstract if we ignore the systemic and global violence that colonialism instituted in our ways of thinking and relating. I develop a postcolonial theory of culture that remains committed to what pastoral theology has always done best: meaningfully considering the nature of care for persons and communities.