The Role of the Study of Religious Experience in the Ministries of Spiritual Direction and Chaplaincy
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The thesis explores the importance of a multi-disciplinary consideration of religious experience for the training and ministry of hospital chaplains and spiritual directors. The author, a lay Roman Catholic chaplain in a Massachusetts community hospital, discusses selected literature relevant to the study of religious experience—drawing predominantly from texts in spirituality studies and also illustrative works in pastoral care and literature—in dialogue with a concrete context of hospital chaplaincy. This sketch aims to identify important insights about religious experience and begin to demonstrate how multi-disciplinary study of religious experience can enrich the training and practice of hospital chaplains and spiritual directors.