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Humanist chaplaincy according to Northwestern European humanist chaplains: towards a framework for understanding chaplaincy in secular societies.

  • Academic Journal
  • Schuhmann, C. M.1 (AUTHOR)
    Wojtkowiak, J.1 (AUTHOR)
    van Lierop, R.2 (AUTHOR)
    Pitstra, F.1 (AUTHOR)
  • Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy. October-December 2021, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p207-221. 15p. 2 Charts.
  • In this article, views on humanist chaplaincy of Northwestern European humanist chaplains are explored with a view to the question of how to understand chaplaincy in secular societies. Seventeen questionnaires were analyzed, filled in by humanist chaplains from Belgium, the UK, Ireland, and Denmark, who attended an international conference on humanist chaplaincy organized in 2015 in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, humanist chaplaincy has a history of several decades and is meanwhile firmly integrated in public institutions; a brief overview over this history is presented. Using thematic analysis, respondents' understandings of 'humanist' in humanist chaplaincy were explored, yielding 4 key themes: humanist chaplaincy as a calling, caring for all fellow human beings, belief in (inter)personal potential, and struggling with a non-supportive environment. On the basis of these themes, building blocks are proposed for a future-oriented perspective on chaplaincy that allows for open dialogue between all chaplains and identification of common ground. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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