Spirituality Versus Fundamentalism in Health Care

Written By: Julia Tyack

Dr. Bruce Rumbold, Senior Lecturer La Trobe University states, “Pastoral care is a person-centered, holistic approach to care that complements the care offered by other helping disciplines while paying particular attention to spiritual care.  The focus of pastoral care is upon the healing, guiding, supporting, reconciling, nurturing, liberating, and empowering of people in whatever situation they find themselves.  In the past, pastoral care operated within the religious framework that was shared by the majority of members of western society.  Today, while a religious approach is still acceptable to some, many others will resist religious language and ritual, but welcome the opportunity to discuss matters of ultimate concern with a worker they have learned to trust.

Dr David Tacey, Professor of Critical Enquiry, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Author of six books and many publications.  ‘The Spirituality Revolution’, writes concerning spirituality:

Spirituality seeks a sensitive, contemplative, transformative relationship with the sacred, and is able to sustain levels of uncertainty in its quest because respect for mystery is always paramount.  Fundamentalism seeks certainty, fixed answers, and absolutism, as a fearful response to the complexity of the world and to our vulnerability as creatures in a mysterious universe.  Spirituality arises from love of and intimacy with the sacred, and fundamentalism arises from fear of and possession by the sacred.  The choice between spirituality and fundamentalism is a choice between conscious intimacy and unconscious possession. ….If we were less certain of our beliefs, and more receptive to mystery and wonder, we would paradoxically be closer to God, more intimate with the spirit, and more tolerant of our fellow human beings and their differing conceptions of the sacred…..What will the future bring?  We are going to see some surprising developments, as these are momentous times.  The secular structure of socity is breaking down, and many people are recovering a sense of the sacred and a primal thirst for the waters of the spirit.”

Anthony Flew is a British philosophy professor who has been a leading champion of atheism for more than a half-century has changed his mind.  He now believes in God,(more or less), based on scientific evidence.  A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature.  See link to Science and Theology this site.  “Yet biologists’ investigation of DNA has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved”  Flew says in the new video, ‘Has Science Discovered God’  Im thinking of a God very different from the God of the Christian and far and away from the God of Islam, because both are depicted as omnipotent Oriental despots, cosmic Saddam Husseins, he said.  It could be a person in the sense of a being that has intelligence and a purpose, I suppose.