Addiction and Pastoral Care

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More About This Title Addiction and Pastoral Care


A timely resource treating addiction holistically as both a spiritual and a pathological condition

Substance addictions present a unique set of challenges for pastoral care. In this book Sonia Waters weaves together personal stories, research, and theological reflection to offer helpful tools for ministers, counselors, chaplains, and anyone else called to care pastorally for those struggling with addiction.

Waters uses the story of the Gerasene demoniac in Mark’s Gospel to reframe addiction as a “soul-sickness” that arises from a legion of individual and social vulnerabilities. She includes pastoral reflections on oppression, the War on Drugs, trauma, guilt, discipleship, and identity. The final chapters focus on practical-care skills that address the challenges of recovery, especially ambivalence and resistance to change.


Sonia E. Waters is assistant professor of pastoral theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and an Episcopal priest. She has served as a volunteer chaplain at a local treatment center and is involved in recovery activities in the Princeton area.