Books reviewed by James Woodward

Ministry of Health

New books in Pastoral Care, Health and Ministry from the Haworth Press,

Is there a God in Health Care?: Toward a New Spirituality of MedicineOn a recent visit to a busy acute hospital in Birmingham I was very struck by the strangeness both of the building but also its workers.  Nurses and doctors, porters and administrative assistants all going about their work, almost completely oblivious to the needs of those around them.  There was an inevitable routine which seemed to this outsider very disconnected from the individual and their experiences.  Medicine, and the structures of medicine, sometimes can leave very little room for spirituality and faith.  In this book (Is there a God in Health Care?: Toward a New Spirituality of Medicine, edited by William F. Haynes JR. & Geoffrey B. Kelly {The Haworth Press} 2006, 215 pp, pbk, no price marked, ISBN 0-7890-2867-0) the doctor and the professor of theology reflect on how their religious faith can provide help in the healing processes of today’s health care.  The book combines both experience and reflection and through this dynamic shares a vision of how e might work together to integrate faith and medicine in our practice.  For those involved in any kind of pastoral care, communication and the development of good communication enables us to grow in our ability to relate and understand others in a deeper, healthier and more significant way. 

A Pastor’s guide to Interpersonal Communication: The Other Six DaysBlake J Neff (A Pastor’s guide to Interpersonal Communication: The Other Six Days, {The Haworth Press},2006, 224 pp, pbk, no price marked, ISBN 0-7890-2666-X) examines a variety of essential topics, including perception, self-disclosure, verbal and non-verbal messages, listening, stages of relational development, power assertiveness and dominance, conflict management, forgiveness, persuasion, dual relationships, pastoral family communication, and it sets out to develop a communications model for each area.  This is a useful book, well written a designed to help improve practice.

Haworth Press add to their resource books in this area by offering a number of volumes that deal with specific issues.  David Welton deals with the difficult subject of Bipolar Disorder (The Treatment of Bipolar Disorder in Pastoral Counseling: Community and Silence, {The Haworth Press}, 2006, 120pp, pbk, no price marked, ISBN 0-78903043-8).  This book illuminated the complex subject of manic-depressive illness offering the pastor some practical support and advice. 

Pastoral Care of depression: Helping Clients Heal Their Relationship with GodGlendon Moriarty deals with depression (Pastoral Care of depression: Helping Clients Heal Their Relationship with God, {The Haworth Press}, 2006, 231pp, pbk, no price marked, ISBN 0-7890-2383-0).  This book is particularly commendable in its dialogue between theology and therapy.  It’s particularly well written and accessible.


The Unwanted Gift of GriefTim P. VanDuivendyk (The Unwanted Gift of Grief, {The Haworth Press}, 2006, 188pp, pbk, no price marked, ISBN 0-7890-2950-2) deals with grief.  This book is a practical guide through the grieving process both for those who have suffered loss and those who care for them.

Finally, Albert A. Herzog, looks at the important subject of Disability Advocacy (Disability Advocacy among Religious Organisations: Histories and reflections, {The Haworth Press}, 2006, 226pp, pbk, no price marked, ISBN 0-7890-3290-2).  This book is particularly helpful in the way in which it sets out the range of responses to disabled people since 1950.  It reminds all those who worked in churches of their responsibility to support those who are denied a voice and power within both church and society.

James Woodward