The Dynamics of Spiritual Care Among Swedish Hospital Chaplains

Approaching the Future in the Present


  • Jan Grimell Church of Sweden
  • Hannah Bradby Uppsala University



hospital chaplains, spiritual care, secularized spaces, organization


This article presents a pilot study on pastors and deacons serving as hospital chaplains who provide spiritual care within a large urban hospital in Sweden. This descriptive study presents a unique contextual insight into Swedish hospital chaplains’ experiences. The purpose of this article, through the analysis of semi-structured interview material, is to describe hospital chaplains’ ability to meet medical staff and patients’ expectations. The results of the analysis are presented under three headings: chaplains in secularized spaces; chaplains filling in gaps; and cultural diversity. This will hopefully promote a conversation about the developing role of Swedish hospital chaplains in times of societal change. More research is encouraged to better detail the topic of the developing role through voices of hospital chaplains from other faith communities.

Author Biographies

Jan Grimell, Church of Sweden

Dr. Jan Grimell, PhD, is a Post-Doctoral Researcher in Pastoral Care at the Unit for Research and Analysis within the Church of Sweden, Uppsala, Sweden.

Hannah Bradby, Uppsala University

Professor Hannah Bradby, PhD, is convenor of the Welfare Research Group at the Department of Sociology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.


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How to Cite

Grimell, J. ., & Bradby, H. . (2022). The Dynamics of Spiritual Care Among Swedish Hospital Chaplains: Approaching the Future in the Present. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 10(1), 9–26.