Islamic Spiritual Care as a New Profession: Expectations and Professional Standards

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Spiritual care is a discipline that is practised on the interface of religion on the one hand and the public domain on the other, i.e., in penitentiary institutions, heath institutions, and the military, etc. Its legitimacy is found primarily in the sacred sources of a religion (Ajouaou, M., R. Ganzevoort et al. 2014, Yϋcel 2010) and had its beginnings in the so-called ‘general pasto¬ral care’ carried out by clergy and/or religious officials (priests, ministers, imams, etc.) with a view to missionary work (da’wa in Islam) or in response to the social and ethical call to care for the needy. For a number of decades, however, in Western democracies this legitimacy has shifted to the nation¬ally and internationally established rights of the individual to confess and practise a religion wherever he or she wishes, including places where this individual cannot find private spiritual care and counselling through regular channels (the church, mosque, synagogue, etc.). This process has led to the emergence of ‘spiritual care’ as a new profession with its own professional standards, competencies, and skills, a profession that can complete and com¬pete with other professions such as psychology and social work. Based on our PhD research in the Netherlands (Ajouaou 2010/2014), case studies in Dutch penitentiary institutions (Ajouaou 2010/2014, Ajouaou & Bernts 2014, Ajouaou & Bernts 2015) and the Dutch experience with these issues, I will present a model of Islamic spiritual care that tries to address the some challenges and requirements of professionalism the Islamic spiritual care has been dealing with.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFirst International Congress on Religious-Spiritual Counselling & Care
EditorsAli Ayten, Mustafa Koç
Place of PublicationTurkey
PublisherPasifik Ofset
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9786054036714
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2016


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