Original Research - Special Collection: Engaging Development

Pastoral care as a resource for development in the global healthcare context: Implications for Africa’s healthcare delivery system

Emem Agbiji, Obaji Agbiji
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 4 | a3507 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i4.3507 | © 2016 Emem Agbiji, Obaji Agbiji | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 May 2016 | Published: 06 December 2016

About the author(s)

Emem Agbiji, Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, University of South Africa, South Africa
Obaji Agbiji, Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Development is concerned with the transformation of people to foster their health, wholeness and growth. The link between health and development points to religion as potential social capital for development. There is an ongoing debate about the role of pastoral care as a religious resource in global healthcare contexts. This is unfortunately not the case in Africa, as pastoral care has not received sufficient attention for its role in healthcare and development in development discourses. The limited research on pastoral care in healthcare contexts in Africa has implications for African healthcare systems, pastoral care and the delivery of an effective, holistic and quality healthcare service. Taking as its point of departure a thesis about the potential of religion as a social capital resource for development, the article argues for pastoral care as a viable religious resource for healthcare and development. Osmer’s theological task of good practice is employed as an interdisciplinary engagement in dialogue with selective perspectives in the disciplines of development and health and social sciences for appropriate analysis.


Pastoral care; Development; Health; Social capital; Religious capital; Socio-economic development; Global healthcare context; Africa healthcare delivery system; Holistic


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