New Religions and the New Europe Conference: Hospice work 'encourages broader view of spirituality'
Monday 29 March 1993
He told the conference that one of the founders of the movement had argued that the work demanded that those who care for the dying move beyond narrow religious dogmas, and also beyond scientific materialism. This was exactly the programme of the New Age movement.
Hospice workers had been driven by experience towards a New Age position. It might be an article of evangelical belief that some people would go to hell, but it was impossible to care long for the dying and not feel that God should rescue all of them.
Equally, the job of hospital chaplain could only be done in a limited number of ways. Some of these were quite unacceptable in the NHS, such as the attempt to pray by everybody's bedside. It was also difficult, if you believed you could help large numbers of people, merely to be on call for those who asked to see you.
The most popular way of doing the job, Dr Walter said, was 'to broaden religion to mean 'spirituality', defined as 'whatever gives meaning to life'. But that makes it totally up to the patient to decide what it all means.'
This, he said, corroded the basis on which a chaplain or religiously motivated nurse could do the job. They were driven to a much more general welcoming of all the patient's spiritual influences, and so into a more New Age position.
Hospices that resisted the trend would find their supply of patients drying up, he predicted. There were now more than 200 hospices in the country, so patients could to some extent choose where to die.
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
- 4 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 5 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
Becky Watts: Four appear in court charged with hiding body parts after teenager's death
Isis 'bulldozes' Nimrud: UNESCO condemns destruction of ancient Assyrian site as a 'war crime'
Professor Brian Cox brands astrology-believing Tory MP David Tredinnick an 'outlier on the spectrum of reason'
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...