Modern pastoral care, Andrew Purves believes, has been overly influenced by psychological theory and too often uninformed by historical practice. The result is a pastoral practice that has diminished the reality of God. In this book, Purves aims to reclaim pastoral theology as a theological discipline. He does this by examining classical texts from the tradition, texts that have the, and he argues that a thoughtful reading of these works--by Gregory of Nazianus, John Chrysostom, Gregory the Great, Martin Bucer, and Richard Baxter--will force a reevaluation of many of the assumptions that shape contemporary pastoral work. He includes a brief biography of each author, introduces the major themes in each writer's pastoral theology, and discusses the issues relevant to pastoral work today.