Existential Care in a Modern Society: Pastoral Care Consultations in Local Communities in Norway

Lars Johan Danbolt, Hetty Zock, Anne Austad, Anne Hege Grung, Hans Stifoss-Hanssen

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Data from a recent survey on pastoral care consultations (PCC) in Norway (N=408) is presented, showing that PCC is a service priests and deacons provide for people in the municipality, independent of faith affiliation. The most common PCC themes regarded mental and social distress, such as grief, conflicts, and loneliness. Furthermore, illness-related themes were prominent, and a specter of religious and moral issues. We discuss the results in the context of ongoing changes and reforms in both church and health care, and point at possible health promoting dimensions of PCC as existential assistance in the space between personal network support and public health care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-39
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal for Practical Theology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12-Jun-2021


  • pastoral care; folk church; local community; psycho-spiritual distress; existential care

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