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Spiritual Care


The Everyday Work of Chaplains

Wendy Cadge

12 January 2023

ISBN: 9780197647820

264 pages

In Stock

Price: £19.99


Chaplains are America's hidden religious leaders. This book draws on archival research and interviews with more than one hundred chaplains to examine who chaplains are, where they work, and why it matters.

  • Shows how local religious life—congregations, theological schools, other religious leaders—shapes the work of chaplains
  • Draws on previously unpublished interviews and a range of unique archival materials not previously analyzed
  • Demonstrates the similarities and differences among chaplains working in a range of settings

About the Author(s)

Wendy Cadge, Barbara Mandel Professor of Humanistic Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology, Brandeis University

Wendy Cadge is the Barbara Mandel Professor of Humanistic Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology at Brandeis University. She is the author of two books, Paging God: Religion in the Halls of Medicine and Heartwood: The First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America, and the founder of the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. Introductions
    Chapter 2. Chaplaincy in Greater Boston: A Short Historical Overview
    Chapter 3. Becoming a Chaplain
    Chapter 4. Brokers With(out) Authority? The Improvisational Work of Chaplains
    Chapter 5. The Value Added of Holding the Space
    Chapter 6. Brokering Deaths: Chaplains as Midwives and Escorts
    Chapter 7. Engaging Religious and Spiritual Differences: Organizational and Individual
    Chapter 8. Conclusions Can Be Beginnings
    Appendix. Initial Glimpses and Focused Attention A Methodological Approach at Mid-Life


"This book provides terrific insights into the world of chaplains. It is beautifully written and a joy to read." - Rev. Elizabeth B. Dickey, Presbyterian Outlook

"Wendy Cadge's book is exhilarating. Spiritual Care is essential reading for anyone who cares about the spiritual well-being of society and of each individual who needs care." - Rabbi Mychal B. Springer, Manager of Clinical Pastoral Education, New York-Presbyterian Hospital

"Chaplains largely have been overlooked in the study of American religion. This ground-breaking book changes that. Always informative and sometimes moving, Spiritual Care is a must-read for anyone interested in religious work and those who do it." - Mark Chaves, Anne Firor Scott Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Duke University