Ethics and Spiritual Care
The issue of spiritual care is complicated by the fact that there is no single understanding of what constitutes spirituality. This book lays out the terrain within which the ethics of spiritual care might be developed. The authors begin by...
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The issue of spiritual care is complicated by the fact that there is no single understanding of what constitutes spirituality. This book lays out the terrain within which the ethics of spiritual care might be developed. The authors begin by reviewing several approaches to spirituality and their implications for ethics. They also explore the changing shape of clergy ethics, and the recent suspicion about applying standards from traditional "professional" ethics.
Ethics and Spiritual Care responds to three phenomena of increasing importance:
• Although spiritual care is at the heart of ordained ministry, there is no text in professional ethics for clergy that focuses specifically on spiritual care. What ethical guidelines are needed to ensure that spiritual care in ministry is appropriate?
• Many people in our world do not consider themselves religious, but use the term spiritual. The burgeoning interest in spirituality is an invitation to people with little training to set themselves up as spiritual directors. Guidelines are needed not simply for the ethical practice of parish ministry, but for specific practices of spiritual direction.
• Allegations of spiritual abuse have been made both in practice and in the literature; the term is being used with some frequency. The development of this term and its implications requires some scrutiny and response, as sexual abuse is not a good model for understanding spiritual abuse.
Driskill is Associate Professor of Spirituality and Ronald D. Soucey Lecturer at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. A
Karen Lebacqz is Robert Gordon Sproul Professor Emeritus of Theological Ethics at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California.