Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy in Religiously Diverse Societies

Date(s) - October 17, 2023
10:00 am - 11:15 am

St. Mark's College

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The recent open-access volume Complexities of Spiritual Care in Plural Societies: Education, Praxis and Concepts (De Gruyter, 2022) contributes to an emerging field that could be referred to as “plural spiritual care and chaplaincy,” by innovatively bringing together contributions from a broad range of contexts and religious traditions. Including empirical work and conceptual explorations, the volume helps to fill the gap between practices and developments related to plural spiritual care and chaplaincy in the scholarly discourse, and their application for practitioners serving religiously diverse populations in health and chaplaincy settings. In this webinar, editor Anne Hege Grung will introduce the book and project, contributor Nazila Isgandarova will discuss female voices in Islamic spiritual care, and contributor Su Yon Pak will explore Buddhist chaplaincy education at a Protestant seminary. Time will be allowed for discussion and questions.

Anne Hege Grung is Professor of Interreligious Studies and Dean of Research in the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo. She holds a PhD in interreligious studies. In 2019 she was pivotal in establishing the master program “Leadership, ethics and counselling” at the University of Oslo, which provides training in chaplaincy and spiritual and existential care for a religiously diverse student group. She was the chair of the European Society for Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies (ESITIS) 2017–2022 and is presently a member of the Steering Committee for the unit Interfaith and Interreligious Studies in the American Academy of Religion.

Nazila Isgandarova has a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral counselling, marriage and family studies from Wilfred Laurier University, and a Master of Social Work from the University of Windsor. She is a Registered Psychotherapist and a Registered Social Worker. Nazila is the recipient of The Order of Vaughan, which is the highest civic honour in Vaughan, Ontario, and the prestigious Forum for Theological Exploration research award for her study on domestic violence against Muslim women, the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care Senior Research Award and the Society for Pastoral Counselling Research Award. Nazila is an Assistant Professor and Master of Pastoral Studies Program at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto. Her book, titled Muslim Women, Domestic Violence, and Psychotherapy: Theological and Clinical Issues, was published by Routledge in 2018 and Islamic Spiritual Care: Theory and Practices by Pandora Press in 2019.

Su Yon Pak is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Dr. Su Yon Pak holds an Ed.D from the joint program of Teachers College Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. She has revitalized the curricular and co-curricular work of field education. She was pivotal in creating the new chaplaincy concentration at Union and is the senior advisor to the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab. Her latest publication is a co-authored and co-edited volume, Sisters in Mourning: Daughters Reflection on Care, Loss, and Meaning (Cascade, 2021). Her research interests include aging and spirituality, Asian/Asian American women and leadership, integrative education pedagogies, interreligious chaplaincy education, and poetry as theological reflection.


Free and open to the public


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Organized and hosted by:

Centre for Christian Engagement, St. Mark’s College at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada)

Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo (Norway)

Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies, College of Art and Sciences, the Center for Well-Being, and the Theology Department at the University of St. Thomas and the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at Saint John’s University (Minnesota, USA)

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