The article focuses on abusive practices in the faith community. It indicates that abusive
behaviour is more often than not unintentional and is ostensibly driven by a zeal for God
and the church. The article explores this anomaly by examining the phenomenon of abuse in
the faith community from a social constructionist, psychological, sociological and theological
perspective. Pastoral ministry is challenged to foster self-reflexivity and awareness, as well as
to revisit current (outdated) beliefs and practices, to test their suitability for the postmodern
context in which the church is to tell and live her story.
This article represents a
reworked version of aspects
from the PhD dissertation
(University of Pretoria,
April 2013), entitled ‘Abuse
in the church: An appeal
and challenge to pastoral
ministry’, with Prof. Dr
Yolanda Dreyer as supervisor.