REFLECTIONS ON RELIGIOUS DOGMATISM IN THE CARE OF DYING AND BEREAVED PEOPLE

Authors

  • Tom Gordon Marie Curie Centre, Fairmile

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.v3i2.18

Keywords:

Bereavement, chaplain, Christian, dogmatism, dying, fear, freedom, fundamentalism, hospice, mortality, religion

Abstract

Faith and religious beliefs provide comfort and support for dying people and for those who are bereaved. In facing death and loss people find solace in a framework of familiar beliefs and religious practices. However, when religious thinking is restrictive, or when dogmatism is imposed, religion can cause fear and distress, thus making the process of dying and the journey of bereavement more difficult rather than easier. The author argues that religious and non-religious people should be freed from concepts and ideas which cause such distress and fear in order that true feelings are accepted and worked through. Rather than struggling with this only when the stresses of dying and bereavement are apparent, such a process should begin in religious thinking and in religious communities, when people are well, and when religious beliefs and practices can be shaped to help people face the reality of their own mortality.

Author Biography

Tom Gordon, Marie Curie Centre, Fairmile

Tom Gordon is full time chaplain to the Marie Curie Centre, Fairmile, Edinburgh

References

GORDON T (1999) Finishing the business: reflections on a facet of spiritual care in a hospice context. Scottish Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy. Vol 2. No 1. p 32

HARVEY T (1996) Who is the chaplain anyway? Philosophy and integration of hospice chaplaincy. The American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care. Sept/Oct 1996. Vol 13. No 15. pp 41-43

LYNN J and HARROLD J (1999) Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for people facing serious illness. Oxford University Press, New York.

STEDEFORD A (1994) Facing Death. Sobell Publications, Oxford.

WALTER T (1997) The ideology and organisation of spiritual care: three approaches. Palliative Medicine Jan 1997. Vol 11. No 1. pp 21-30

WALTERS G (1997) Why do Christians find it hard to grieve? Paternoster Press, Carlisle

Published

2013-06-11

How to Cite

Gordon, T. (2013). REFLECTIONS ON RELIGIOUS DOGMATISM IN THE CARE OF DYING AND BEREAVED PEOPLE. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 18-22. https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.v3i2.18

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