“The Church - Body of Christ and the Charismas of the People of God”

Fr Bassam Nassif is Assistant Professor in Pastoral Theology at St John of Damascus Institute of Theology of the University of Balamand and coordinator of the bachelor of theology.

As a pastor in the Antiochian Orthodox Church, Rev. Dr. Bassam Nassif is concerned with integrating the pastoral theology of the Orthodox Church with the research and experience of the human sciences, leading to the formation of a therapeutic pastoral care approach. Rev. Nassif‘s aim is to deal with modern challenges facing the Church in a pluralistic and secularized world. Building on scientific research and on the rich tradition of the church, he endeavors to offer a modern approach to pastoral care leading to the righteousness of modern man. Since 2015 he is leading a research project on the pastoral implications of postmodernity on marriage and family life.

According to St. Paul, the Church’s members "grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together” (Eph. 4:16). How can this work of growth and edification be realized, synergically, within the Body of Christ? What is the significance of the various charismata? This paper presents the pivotal role of charismata and their vital purpose in the economy of salvation, drawing on some of the earliest patristic texts about the subject. Using insights from pastoral care, it attempts to foster a reflection on the theology of Christian vocation (marriage, celibacy for the Kingdom of God, and monasticism).