Rearranging the Domain: Spiritual Care in Multiple Dimensions

J.N. den Toom*, Martin N. Walton, Jacques Körver, P.H. Vos, Renske Kruizinga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Clearly, chaplaincy is concerned with spirituality. But spirituality does not
cover all that chaplaincy is about. In addition, there is critique on the clarity, usefulness and precision of the concept of spirituality. In order to express the richness of the profession and safeguard the particular characteristics of spirituality, this article proposes a new arrangement of chaplaincy’s domain: meaning and worldviews, including existential, ethical, spiritual and aesthetic dimensions. The model is considered with regard to two criteria: does the definition do justice to the plural, rich and various experiences of spirituality and meaning, including non-Christian and secular experiences? And does the definition help to communicate chaplaincy and its particular characteristics
to other professions? The definition of the Dutch Association of Spiritual aregivers is presented and reflected upon from a philosophical view. Finally, the definition is tested for its usefulness through application in some case studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-59
Number of pages18
JournalHealth and Social Care Chaplaincy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • geestelijke verzorging
  • spiritual care
  • spiritualiteit
  • domein
  • zingeving
  • esthetiek
  • Kierkegaard


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