Unraveling the Collision of Rigid Religious Mindsets: Towards ‘Cross-Religious Tabernacling’ within a Praxis of Interpathetic Transspection in Pastoral Caregiving – a Hermeneutical Approach

  • Daniel J Louw Emeritus, Stellenbosch University; Extraordinary professor, North West University
Keywords: Apathy, Cross-religious tabernacling, Diagnostic chart, Interpathetic caregiving, Schemata of interpretation, Transspection, Presencing as mode of compassionate being-there


Within the context of global pluralism and cultural diversity, religions can and should play a decisive role in creating safe spaces for meaningful encounters and interreligious dialogue in pastoral and interpathetic caregiving. In this regard, a hermeneutic of networking understanding should be rendered critical for promoting meaningful interreligious dialoguing because enmity, prejudice and suspicion, fed by rigid doctrinal stances and autocratic forms of rather imperialistic God-images, contribute in most cases to schismatic estrangement, as well as static, paralyzing thinking (stringent mindsets). In order to contribute to constructive forms of crossing over to the religious other, it is argued that David Augsburger’s notion of interpathetic care (1986) should supplement the traditional understanding of the cure/care of human souls (cura animarum). To foster a culture of mutual exchange of paradigmatic convictions, a diagnostic chart is developed. The argument is that a comprehensive framework of conceptional and cognitive networking (patterns of thinking) opens up new vistas, i.e., on seeing the ‘bigger picture’. It is further argued that a theological and religious understanding of ‘tabernacling’ could help to create concrete, communal spaces for significant interreligious encounters and interfaith cooperation.


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