2013 Göttingen

Pastoral care and Counselling: Borders and boundaries

European Congress in Göttingen, 15. – 20. August 2013

In the living of life one encounters boundaries. Living life means crossing borders and overcoming limits: growing, learning, discovering new things and making new contacts.

Living life means running up against boundaries: the limits of one’s own vitality and knowledge, limits of cultural and political borders as well as of ethical judgement. Living life means suffering from boundaries, from inward and outward blockages.

There is a desire to be freed of boundaries: “You have set my feet in a broad place.” (Psalm 31: 8) At the same time boundaries preserve life in the face of dissolution or excessive demand. Boundaries protect the identities of individuals, groups and societies. Boundaries separate between here and there. They mark places of manifold variety and of safety: “You set a boundary that they may not pass.” (Psalm 104:9)

Pastoral care entails working with boundaries – with the experience of enclosure and

blockage as well as with the experience of losing oneself in boundlessness. Pastoral care entails the perception of boundaries both familiar and strange, both inward and outward.

Pastoral care crosses over boundaries while also encouraging the acceptance of boundaries. Pastoral care defines boundaries while also helping to discover new territory within the boundaries.

For 40 years pastoral caregivers and counselors have crossed borders in Europe for the sake of exchange on their discipline and its methods. We want to celebrate the anniversary with special guests from the early years and with visions for the coming decades.

Pastoral Care & Counseling: Boundaries & Borders. We invite you to come to Göttingen: – for lectures that highlight border experiences in art, politics, medical ethics and other cultural realms, – for workshops and small group encounters – for concerts and a great celebration

We will explore, at small or great distances, border sites of pastoral care.

Heike Komma, General secretary, ECPCC Prof. Dr. Jan Hermelink; Universität Göttingen, Seminar für Praktische Theologie


Abstract from the program:

Thursday 15.8. 2013

Crossing borders Prof. Dr. Daniel Louw, Stellenbosch

Friday, 16.8.

Medical and ethical border situations Alfred Simon Göttingen Response: Ulla Schmidt, Oslo Conducted tour and conversations in the reception camp Friedland

Samstag, 17.8.

Borders and border traffic from the political Perspective Herta Däubler-Gmelin, Tübingen Patrick Schnabel, Neuruppin


Sonntag, 18.8.

Ecumenical church service Excursions to Bursfelde, Drübeck, Erfurt, Loccum, Wolfsburg, Wülfinghausen, Eichsfeld

Montag, 19.8.

Boundaries and intercultural encounters Anjum Anwar, Blackburn Cathedral Prof. Dr. Jan Hermelink, Göttingen Celebration: 40 years ECPCC