A Christian Ethics of Care as a Spiritual Model: Its Pastoral Applications and Relevance

Eugene R. Anthony, Salve Regina University


The work introduces a new and innovative pastoral/spiritual care theory/model, which I have labeled as the Christian ethics of care. The Christian ethics of care is composed of a five-point framework, and the primary moral and social elements of it are the following: compassion, attention, respect, prayer, and empathy (CARPE). While many individuals in their daily lives extend one, some, or even all of the five-point framework elements of CARPE to someone or others in their social interactions, this paper takes the position that (non-) professional pastoral and spiritual caregivers should make a conscious and concerted effort to incorporate all five of the elements of CARPE into their interactions with suffering clients/patients. As a result of doing so, this work asserts that a positive effect will occur upon the clients'/patients' overall health and well-being, while leading to emotional, psychological, spiritual, and even physical healing within the suffering/grieving person receiving pastoral/spiritual care. In order for pastoral/spiritual caregivers to effectively understand how the Christian ethics of care could be utilized and practiced, I have created four hypothetical/fictional case studies, which deal with actual real world traumatic events, covering various scenarios involving a suffering individual and/or his/her family member(s) dealing with trauma, loss, and grief. In these case studies I, as the pastoral/spiritual caregiver, extend CARPE to my clients/patients, analyze and discuss the Christian ethics of care case studies, and provide a pastoral/spiritual care plan, to each client/patient, based upon the Christian ethics of care theory/model. Finally, the work focuses on how a medium, such as film in our digital age, could positively contribute to overcoming social prejudices in our society that are contradictory to CARPE, while encouraging pastoral/spiritual caregivers to consider using particular films to more creatively interact with their suffering and/or grieving clients/patients.

Subject Area

Clergy|Ethics|Pastoral Counseling|Spirituality

Recommended Citation

Anthony, Eugene R., "A Christian Ethics of Care as a Spiritual Model: Its Pastoral Applications and Relevance" (2019). Doctoral Dissertations. AAI13865236.