• Robert Mundle Toronto Rehabilitation Institute



pluralism, communion, alterity, Panikkar, sacrament, prayer


Following theologian Raimon Panikkar, I argue that healthcare chaplaincy is authentic in regard to religious pluralism only when it is dialogical. In examples of pastoral problems of sacramental ministry and prayer that challenge the aims of denominational and multi-faith chaplaincy, I show how professional healthcare chaplains may enter into communion with patients in authentic relationships while maintaining a sense of alterity necessary for dialogue and effective ministry. I explore also the role of embodied alterity in the creative tension of intrapersonal rela-tionships. In response to the theological challenge of religious pluralism, I conclude that by experiencing dialogical pluralism in the reflective practice of ministry, healthcare chaplains can offer unique insights to pastoral theology.

Author Biography

  • Robert Mundle, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

    Robert Mundle is Chaplain at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute in Toronto, Canada, where his position is partially funded and defined by the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. He completed a residency in Clinical Pastoral Education at the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, and is professionally certified by the National (USA) Association of Catholic Chaplains. He holds graduate degrees in theology from Yale Divinity School and the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto where he is currently pursuing doctoral studies in Theological Ethics.


BOFF, L. (1987). Sacramental Encounter as Response and Celebration. In Sacraments of Life, Life of the Sacraments, 75-79. Washington, DC: Pastoral Press.

DASS, R., GORMAN, P. (2003). How Can I Help? Stories and Reflections on Service. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

DYKSTRA, R. C. (2005). Images of Pastoral Care: Classic Readings. St. Louis, MO.: Chalice Press.

HERACLITUS. Fragments. Translated by Brooks Haxton. New York: Viking Penguin, 2001.

KEEN S. (1966). Gabriel Marcel. London: The Carey Kingsgate Press Limited.

PANIKKAR R. (1964). The Unknown Christ of Hinduism. London: Dartman, Longman and Todd.

PANIKKAR R. (1978). The Intrareligious Dialogue. New York, NY and Ramsey, NJ: Paulist Press.

PANIKKAR R. (1979). Myth, Faith and Hermeneutics. New York: Paulist Press.

PANIKKAR R. (1995). Invisible Harmony: Essays on Contemplation and Responsibility. Edited by Harry James Cargas. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

ROBINSON, J. (1963). Honest to God. London: SCM.

SCHUBERT J. D. (2008). Suffering/symbolic violence. In Pierre Bourdieu: Key Concepts, ed. Michael Grenfell. Stocksfield: Acumen.

VANIER J. (1988). Becoming Human. Toronto: House of Anansi Press Limited.

ZOCK H (2008). The Split Professional Identity of the Chaplain as a Spiritual Caregiver in Contemporary Dutch Health Care: Are There Implications for the United States? The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling Vol. 62, Nos 1-2,137-139.

ZUCKER D., BRADLEY T.P., TAYLOR B E. (2007). The Chaplain as an Authentic and an Ethical Presence. Chaplaincy Today 23 (2) 15-24.



How to Cite

Mundle, R. (2013). RELIGIOUS PLURALISM AND THE HOSPITAL CHAPLAIN. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 12(2), 16-20.