Our door is always open to our graduates.
We pride ourselves on our sense of community at the Franciscan School of Theology – and that community continues after you graduate. Whether you have started a new career, had an addition to the family, we’d love to hear from you. Keep us up to date on your contact information, and how you are doing. We want the FST alum community to stay connected, so keep us posted. E-mail Randi Quaid at firstname.lastname@example.org with your latest news, and contact information.
Book Review for our Alumni by our Alumni…..
Each month we will be highlighting a book that continues to develop your pastoral ministry skills that were started at FST. We will be inviting reviews from our alumni of books or articles that have helped them in developing their ministry skills. We invited alumna (class of 2009) and current staff person, Donna Foley to write our first book review on The Anatomy of Hope.
The Anatomy of Hope: how people prevail in the face of illness. Jerome Groopman, M.D. New York: Random House, 2004. 215 pp.
Years and many controversies ago, Woody Allen offered a collection of tales called Without Feathers. The title was his own morose take on Emily Dickenson’s “Hope is the thing with feathers …”. In a very different vein, the qualities and effects of hope on the human person receive a clinical, yet accessible, treatment in Jerome Groopman’s The Anatomy of Hope. While serving on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and as chief of experimental medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Groopman is also a staff writer for The New Yorker. If you are engaged in any field of pastoral care, you will likely encounter those in your care who have read this book. It belongs to a body of works published within the last decade that examine the biology and psychology of joy, resilience and motivation.
Groopman explores the ethics of giving “true” vs. “false” hope by offering scenarios drawn from his own practice and his own experience of illness. Most helpful to the person in ministry, however, may be the chapter on “Deconstructing Hope,” which considers the psychological implications of this virtue that Christians hold dear for very good reason. In a discussion of goal-seeking, rewards and memory in the brain’s activity, we find this description of hope’s activity in a crisis situation:
“Hope … does not cast a veil over perception and thought. In this way, it is different from blind optimism: It brings reality into sharp focus. In the setting of illness, hope helps us weigh highly charged and often frightening information … Hope incorporates fear into the process of rational deliberation and tempers it so we can think and choose without panic.”
Insights like this make The Anatomy of Hope a worthwhile investment of interdisciplinary reading time. The person in ministry must not look for any theological or spiritual underpinnings here, of course. Those are beyond the scope of the author’s considerable expertise, and must be sought elsewhere on our bookshelves.