• Sally Nelson Research Student, North Yorkshire



suffering, ritual, healthcare, liminality, chaplaincy


Patients and their families are often concerned to find a material cause for suffering rather than to accept the mystery of its ontological necessity. In modern healthcare settings, in which medicine is rightly based upon the reductionist empirical scientific method, spirituality is therefore likely to be seen as a bolt-on extra to medical care rather than as a truly alternative worldview. In this article I argue that suffering needs to be rehabilitated as an experience rather than a cosmic mistake, and that chaplains are better equipped than medical staff to offer this insight into transcendent reality.

Author Biography

  • Sally Nelson, Research Student, North Yorkshire

    Sally Nelson is a doctoral research student based in North Yorkshire. She was formerly Chaplain to the Prince of Wales Hospice in Pontefract and pastor to a church in Watford.


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How to Cite

Nelson, S. (2013). MEDICAL RITES: ‘PRIESTLY’ POWER IN MODERN HEALTHCARE. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 12(1), 18-23.