From Theory to Practice when Presenting Core Features of a Swedish Hospital Chaplaincy Identity

A Case Study Analysis


  • Jan Grimell Church of Sweden



Identity, Chaplain, Deacon, Hospital, Spiritual care


Research on healthcare chaplaincy-identity over the years has to a large extent, been both theory-driven and less pronounced in the field of chaplaincy. While this research has contributed important insights, it has also called for empirical/qualitative research, which can add to the growing need for research that complements and nuances theoretical frameworks and suggestions. This article presents an in-depth narrative identity analysis of a hospital chaplain who has served two decades within the healthcare context. The rationale for this case was to specifically explore how a full-time position as a hospital chaplain, coupled with extensive experience within a secularized context organized around medical expertise and other important social and spiritual factors, forged a specific chaplain character, which consisted of six overarching core features or identity markers. The findings from this case study broadens existing knowledge, while also confirming existing theoretical positions. Future research is warranted, in order to display potential additional core features of hospital chaplains, explore contextual identity markers associated to other contexts, and to employ these core features in top-down research or as deductive categories in qualitative research.

Author Biography

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.


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How to Cite

Grimell, J. (2022). From Theory to Practice when Presenting Core Features of a Swedish Hospital Chaplaincy Identity: A Case Study Analysis. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 10(2), 165–184.