johannes klabbers : spiritual care
I am a qualified clinical pastoral carer (in Australia) and I am currently undergoing a Master of Theology (Spiritual Care) at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam so that I can be registered to work as a geestelijk verzorger in The Netherlands, but I am reluctant to use the word ‘spiritual’. I am more interested in thinking in terms of a new materialism, and the embodiment of an ethical and relational (post)human praxis situated beyond the spiritual/material binary.
I see a disastrous lack in our increasingly secular world, a vacuum perhaps, that is the result of our inability to think of something better than the god/s we no longer believe in. The task for people who are no longer interested in or convinced by traditional religions is to imagine new ways of being (for the want of better words) spiritual or religious. The first task may be to invent different words and practices for that which was perhaps good and true or at least well intentioned but which has become tainted by the practices associated with the old words. We need to imagine a religion without religion, without gods, where the agency, intelligence and autonomy of all individual beings, and things is realised, recognised and respected, right down to the sub-atomic level.
I’ll get off the pulpit now but this is to be continued :)