Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, Vol 9, No 1 (2021)

Meaning and Natural Life: How Spiritual Care is Redefined in the Secular Context

Christopher Turner
Issued Date: 25 Feb 2021

Abstract


Employing the praxis method of theological reflection, this article draws on a spiritual care encounter with a person holding a worldview derived from an empirical approach to the natural world, in order to reflect on the nature of non-religious spirituality and its implications for the spiritual care sector. Non-religious spirituality is examined as a genuine form of spirituality. The hypothesis that the genuine nature of non-religious spirituality necessarily suggests that non-religious people can both receive and provide spiritual care is presented. Healthy secularity is examined as the underlying sociocultural condition for non-religious spiritual care to be recognized in a sector currently dominated by religious assumptions. The study concludes with a call to spiritual care educators and accrediting bodies in the Australian context to begin working toward a secular perspective that is inclusive of non-religious spirituality and spiritual care. The conclusions of the article will have significance for the global spiritual care community, particularly in countries recording increases in populations identifying as non-religious.

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DOI: 10.1558/hscc.38581

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