Pub. Date:
Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
Lives Entrusted: An Ethic of Trust for Ministry

Lives Entrusted: An Ethic of Trust for Ministry

by Barbara Blodgett (Editor)


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Behind all the issues of ministerial conduct and character lies a simple reality. The heart of ministerial ethics and integrity, argues Barbara Blodgett, is trust - trust expected, trust earned, trust practiced. Trust, she says, is undermined by three trust-busters common in the church: secrecy, gossip, and lying.

For Blodgett, trust is not an emotion or intention but a transaction. People entrust each other with things they value, and that interaction endows a relationship. In the aggregate, they create community. By focusing on crucial practices of trust, a unique new framework for ministerial identity and ethics is created.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800663216
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
Publication date: 08/15/2008
Series: Prisms
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Barbara J. Blodgett is Director of Supervised Ministries at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut. A former pastor ordained in the United Church of Christ, she is also an ethicist whose writings have appeared broadly.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Practice of Trust 5

The Paradigmatic Trust Relationship 10

Risk 15

Vulnerability 19

Power 22

The Ethics of Trust Relationships 27

Conclusion 29

Chapter 2 Confidentiality 31

Popular Assumptions about Clergy Confidentiality 35

Practices of Confidentiality 37

The Influence of the Therapeutic 41

Risk, Vulnerability, and Power: Two Perspectives 45

Public and Private 51

Ethics of Clergy Confidentiality 52

Chapter 3 Misconduct 55

Evolution of Responses to Misconduct 57

Safe Church Practices 61

Comparing Safe Church Practices and Audits 69

The Dangers of Becoming an Audit Society 74

The Need to Trust in Trust 76

Smarter Trust and Safer Churches 79

Chapter 4 Gossip 85

Gossip Defined 88

Gossip Defended 93

Gossip Studied 98

Does Gossip Serve Trust? 113

Testimony 116

Chapter 5 Bullshit 121

Inauthentic Pastoral Discourse 127

Truth and Trust in Clergy 133

What Is Bullshit? 136

The Purpose of Bullshit 141

Conclusion 147

Notes 153

Index 167

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