Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2022.

Degree Name

Master of Theology (Th.M)


Gina Hens-Piazza


Although hospital chaplaincy is rooted in religious traditions and histories, relying too strictly on traditional religious conventions can lead to lazy spiritual care that ignores the lived reality of patients. We must be attuned to the systemic and social issues that influence a patient’s experience, and recognize that spiritual care does not develop in an isolated vacuum. Through case studies, I focus on examining the various social issues impacting the patient, and then more closely examine exactly what happens in the chaplaincy encounter that constitutes spiritual care. I aim to expand the limits of what is seen as spiritual care to include such seeming dichotomies as spiritual versus mundane, eternal versus temporary, life versus death.

SCU Access Only

To access this paper, please log into or create an account in Scholar Commons using your email address.