How do we care justly when the self suffers because of the identity that they inhabit? Pastoral theologian Katharine E. Lassiter approaches this interdisciplinary question from a feminist perspective in order to understand how suffering, subject formation, and social injustice are connected. Lassiter identifies the challenges of identity in developing a pastoral theological anthropology, reflecting on tensions in her own experiences of caring for selves. Drawing from theories of recognition, she argues that doing just care requires recognizing the need for recognition as well as acknowledging the impediments to receiving interpersonal, social, and theological recognition. Bringing together resources from pastoral theology and social theory, she develops a feminist pastoral theology and praxis of encounter in order to advance a care that does justice. Scholars, social justice practitioners, and pastoral caregivers will be able to use this resource to discover not only how and why recognition affects human development but also how we might implement a liberative theological praxis that is attentive to the role of recognition in subject formation.
1. The Challenge of Identity
2. Feminist Pastoral Theological Anthropology
3. Intersubjective Recognition
4. Social Recognition
5. Theological Recognition
6. Recognizing Injustice
7. Encountering Other Subjects
8. Recognizing the Self-in-Relation
Endorsements and Reviews
Pastoral theology needs a theory and practice of recognition that can work with and beyond identity politics, argues Lassiter. In accessible and inviting prose, she cultivates those resources in dialogue with feminist and queer theorist Judith Butler, queer Argentinian theologian Marcella Althaus-Reid, and psychoanalyst Jessica Benjamin. A profound and important contribution to her field and to all who share Lassiter’s sense of obligation to those relegated to the margins of church and society.
Ellen T. Armour, Carpenter Associate Professor of Feminist Theology; Director, Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender and Sexuality, Vanderbilt Divinity School
It is a throughly engaging discussion, and the reader will find a good balance between well-explained academic theory, application to practical scenarios, and recommendations for pastoral theologians…. [The author] provides exactly the right level of concise summary, information-giving, and critical response. I will certainly be using this book in my third-year undergraduate classes and Masters students, but a lay readership could also readily engage with this text.
Deryn Guest, in Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol 25, Issue 1
… a significant and groundbreaking nuance in feminist pastoral theological literature.
Sophie Witherstone, in Modern Believing, Vol 60, No 4, October 2019