Nagy Eszter

Kolozsvári Protestáns Teológiai Intézet

Publications: 3

Publications of Eszter Nagy

The primary objective of my research was to contextualise the psychological dimensions of attachment theory within a theological framework. Specifically, I aimed to scrutinise the broad spectrum of interpretations stemming from Bowlby’s work from a practical-theological perspective, with a particular focus on pastoral and pastoral-theological aspects. In doing so, I intend to construct a meaningful bridge between the realms of psychology and theology. In our contemporary, postmodern landscape, ministers assume a pivotal role as credible emissaries of certain values within the church community. The values they represent and the manner in which they do so are significantly influenced by their individual characteristics, including their prevailing attachment patterns and the emotions they experience in the course of their vocation. The first part of my research provided a concise overview of John Bowlby’s attachment theory and the various attachment patterns it delineates. In this subsequent section, I present the findings of an empirical study conducted among active ministers within the Reformed Church in Romania, with a particular emphasis on the identification of insecure attachment patterns among this group. Ministers were invited to fill in the questionnaire anonymously and voluntarily, offering insights into their personalities and attachment patterns. The outcomes of this analysis also furnish valuable insights for the pastoral community at large.

Research articleReformátus Szemle 116.3 (2023)

Psychologist John Bowlby, the father of attachment theory, maintains that “attachment plays a fundamental role in human life from the cradle to the grave”. In my research, I bridge the gap between the psychologically grounded theory of attachment and pastoral theology. My aim is to shed light on how attachment patterns formed in childhood (secure, anxious-avoidant, anxious-ambivalent and disorganized) influence adulthood, particularly the relational systems of pastors serving as leaders within congregations. To explore this, I employ empirical research methods. I outline the connections between identified attachment patterns and pastoral service in the context of Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), and from a pastoral care perspective, I highlight possibilities for healing among individuals with insecure attachments within intimate relationships.

Research articleReformátus Szemle 116.2 (2023)

The central question of the book by Rolf Theobold is: how can we engage in pastoral conversations that aim to solve problems, despite the short time available? Another truth regarding the practice of short-term pastoral care is that every journey begins with taking the first step. Neither the counsellor, nor the counselee can expect an instant solution for all problems in one go. An initial impulse is needed on the way to a solution, so the main focus will not be on an immediate cure, but on an immediate word of encouragement and support. According to Gunther Schmidt, feedback on the experiences gained on the way to a solution is just as important as the acceptance that a changed perception of the problem is already leading to real change. We also need to learn the tendency towards developing solutions, similarly to the qualities we learn from birth. In addition to the many practical suggestions in Rolf Theobold’s book, it is also necessary to reflect on the author’s own conviction that short-term pastoral care cannot be limited to superficial “think positive” (good) advice, but also requires a deep faith and trust in God.

Research articleReformátus Szemle 115.6 (2022)

“People are not a machines, because if they were, in an emergency situation they would know which button to press or which screw to tighten in order to get their machine working again” – maintains Rolf Theolbold, minister and practical theologian, author of the book. Rolf Theolbold presents the basics and possibilities of short-term pastoral care in a plain language. How “short” is short-term pastoral care? How can it help those longing for a solution to their spiritual problems? This book was written for people who want to help others but often have little time to do so. From a rich repertoire of modern short-term therapy methods, it offers practical suggestions on how to provide useful pastoral care in a short time frame. The author encourages the reader to experience with the presented short-term methods of pastoral care and to discover the rich possibilities it offers despite the limited time available. The first six chapters of the book focus on the theoretical foundations, while the rest of the book provides the methodological underpinnings.

ReviewReformátus Szemle 115.5 (2022)