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The value of spiritual care: negotiating spaces and practices for spiritual care in the public domain

Todd, Andrew 2015. The value of spiritual care: negotiating spaces and practices for spiritual care in the public domain. Pye, Jonathan, Sedgwick, Peter Humphrey and Todd, Andrew, eds. Critical Care: Delivering Spiritual Care in Healthcare Contexts, London: Jessica Kingsley, pp. 70-86.

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This chapter identifies spiritual care as a contested practice in modern healthcare, shaped by the norms of a variety of secularities; and subject to the critique of different secularist voices; within the wider context of modern liberal democracies. The chapter shows how healthcare chaplaincy and the wider spiritual care practice shared with other healthcare professionals has adapted within such an environment (out of a history of Christian chaplaincy), developing: new models of chaplaincy (including multi-faith teams and ‘generic’ approaches); new discourses (e.g. those that distinguish between ‘spiritual’ and ‘religious’ care); multi-faith spaces for prayer, worship and reflection; and frameworks for professionalising public practice. Such developments are set within their political context, for example in relation to norms of ‘patient choice’, and of respect for diversity and the provision of equal opportunity. The chapter is concerned, therefore, with exploring how the public value of healthcare chaplaincy is negotiated. This is examined through the use of an original analogy, drawn from the world of International Relations, that compares security responses to ‘threat’, with ‘secular’ responses to ‘risk’. The chapter also reflects on such responses as a negotiation of the contemporary secular sacred (Cf. Lynch 2012; Pattison forthcoming), providing particular examples. The chapter concludes that chaplaincy’s distinctive contribution to healthcare lies in its adaptable and creative negotiation of space to continue offering spiritual, religious and pastoral care as a public service.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley
ISBN: 9781849054973
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Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 04:35

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