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He descended into hell and on the third day he rose again : as a metaphor for pastoral care for a dysfunctional Igbo family, with emotional depression as their crisis.

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This dissertation is concerned with the restoration of relevance of the Church ministry into the family system, in a given cultural area. The Igbo people of Nigeria are the principal foci for the research. They have experienced difficult times which this research considers to be the source for their emotional depression. One of the greatest problems which a family can face is being in crisis. Under this condition, it is completely disorganized. Such a family cannot think constructively nor plan together as a family for ways ahead, unless they are assisted. The joy and happiness of family life is lost. This study considers emotional depression to be a crisis faced by a dysfunctional family. Despite the presence of many Churches in Igboland, more families are still facing crisis. This points to the idea that the Church is not yet responding well to the caring needs of her members. The researcher believes that if the Anglican Church in Igboland can adopt the concept of the death and resurrection of Jesus after three days, which she teaches, in her caring ministry her services to the families will be more relevant. To succeed in this, the socio-cultural background of the people must be put into consideration. The main discussion on the crisis faced by the Igbo families is in chapters four and five. Chapter two gives the social, political, religious and economic background responsible for the crisis of the Igbos within Nigeria. Chapter three deals with the family system, highlighting both the functional and dysfunctional family system. Chapter six looks into the meaning ofthe Church and pastoral care by the Church, while chapter seven considers ways and means of restoring hope to a depressed family. The researcher believes that a sincere giving of pastoral care and counselling within the Anglican Church in Igboland will bring about the healing, sustaining, reconciling and restoring of the already depressed families. This will mean resurrection of family life. There will be true reconciliation among individuals within a family and between the family and God.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2001.


Church work with dysfunctional families., Church work with dysfunctional families--Nigeria., Families--Pastoral counselling of., Families--Pastoral counselling of--Nigeria., Igbo (African people), Theses--Theology.